Pursuing Higher Education's MacGuffin: Economic Realities of the $10,000 College Degree
Thought and Action, 30:121-132
12 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2014 Last revised: 20 Feb 2015
Date Written: 2014
By focusing solely on total degree cost, the proponents of the 10K degree ignore other variables of the equation, including public funding, education quality, and faculty pay. Nonetheless, the economic and social realities, or consequences, of where the 10K degree leads us may be important to consider in determining whether this goal, a high-quality post-secondary education on the cheap, is worthy of further societal consideration. It is essential to dive into the numbers — and in this article, I will do so, exploring the implications around class sizes, faculty workload, infrastructure costs, and administrative spending at four-year colleges specifically. I will argue that it is possible to produce a college degree at a reasonable price, but that it requires new institutional focus on student learning.
Keywords: Critical University Studies, Higher Education, Prestige, Political Sociology, Adjuncts, MOOCs
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