A Low Cost College Plan for Dummies and Slackers

May 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics

university_obamaPresident Obama and his educratic team are on record as stating that: (1) more American citizens (and resident invaders) should be going to college; and (2) taxpayers need to fund more  loans and grants to make that happen. I don’t like the President’s plan. I have a better one.

As best I can determine, a lot of the students that the President has in mind are dummies and slackers, i.e., those who are too stupid or too lazy to earn their way in and through college. We seem to have quite a few of those. President Obama doesn’t really care if they are dummies or slackers. He only cares that they can vote.

I don’t want any more of my tax money spent proving that thousands of young adults can’t earn a college degree even in an era of extreme grade inflation. So I have a low-cost plan for our populations of dummies and slackers who are presently underserved by higher education. We need to implement the “Five Minute University” as proposed by Father Guido Sarducci. In case you missed Father Sarducci’s original presentation, here is a refresher video (click through to my site if you are seeing this in a reader or email):

You probably think I am joking. Actually I’m not. We already have too many people going to college. The President doesn’t understand that. So let’s compromise by sending everyone to college for a week or less, teach them a few easy to remember facts, give them a degree, and then tell them to get on with life. This will save the “students” time and save money all the way around.

You are probably thinking that the graduates of Five Minute University won’t actually learn anything. That may be true, but they won’t be much different from a lot of other college graduates who had to endure four (and usually more) years and spend thousands of dollars not really learning anything. I think that Father Sarducci is right in saying that you can learn in five minutes what many college students remember five years after they graduate.

Students who major in deep subjects such as communications, leisure science, film, political science, gender studies, American studies, and pretty much any other major that has the word “studies” in it – what do they really learn and remember? And if they paid enough attention and preserved enough brain cells to actually remember anything, what value is it to the rest of us? I’d say about five minutes worth of tuition value. After all, only 31% of college graduates can read and understand a complex book.  Some studies show that only 62% of college graduates had jobs requiring a college degree and only 55% had a job related to their major. So why did all of these people even go to college?

That data tells me that we are better off just sending those folks through my hyper-accelerated degree program and then putting them to work doing something productive. Like cutting my grass.

There will be one significant difference in comparative outcomes between four-year and Five Minute University grads. The latter won’t be burdened by five and six-figure student loans.

Another significant improvement offered by my low-cost college plan is graduation rate. The average graduation rate (finishing within 6 years) for U.S. college students at the bachelor’s degree level is 56.1%. That’s pathetically low and enormously wasteful (unless they are All American athletes). If we shorten college classwork to a week or less, that graduation rate should rocket upwards near 100%. (There will be a few extreme slackers who either sleep through graduation or who stay drunk for most of the week.) Think of the self-esteem benefits!

So call your Congresspersons and ask them to introduce a bill that diverts a few million dollars of the federal student loan money to the establishment of regional Five Minute Universities and the printing of millions of college diplomas. Most of the rest of the student loan billions can be returned to taxpayers. President Obama gets his “everyone goes to college” wish fulfilled and we get our money back. It’s perfect.

So what do you think of my proposal?

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8 Responses to “A Low Cost College Plan for Dummies and Slackers”
  1. SJ says:

    Harsh =)

    Some what true. Too many people are going to college. It’s treated as a right.
    Instead it’s a responsibility and great power; rmbr, w/ great power comes greater responsibility.

    The thing is, as people live longer it seems childhood has extended. I mean, you aren’t letting kids drink till 21, smoke till 18 etc… so does tht mean we should let them work freely? I mean car insurance is higher until the magical age of 25.

    I will say I favorited the vid already. College needs to be more merit based; same for funding! But catch more people or let more people slip away?

  2. Pat says:

    As a graduate teaching associate at a (somewhat) selective public school and an adjunct at a virtually open-admission public school, I agree with everything you’ve written. Although reducing the flood of new undergrads might undermine my career prospects, 5 years of graduate school and teaching have convinced me of the massive catastrophic waste of higher education.

    At my adjunct position, 40-50% of my students routinely fail simple objective tests, even after I’ve intentionally lowered the difficulty to compensate. Significant numbers are functionally illiterate, unable to identify topic sentences, summarize information, or construct a logical argument. These same students complain to my department that I’m being too difficult for a general education course. I hate to be pessimistic or mean, but I would not hire some of these kids if I were a manager at McDonalds, let alone a hospital, engineering firm, or whatever.

  3. MasterPo says:

    I agree. It will just further go to devalue the worth of a Bachelors degree making a Masters and even Doctorate more favorable.

    PhD’s for all!! :-)

  4. Imee says:

    Hmm. Harsh much? lol. Well, on one hand, there’s so many people in college who didn’t want to go there in the first place (or maybe even just went there to party). On the other hand, there’s plenty of people who can’t afford college but are dying to go.

  5. jstreed1476 says:

    I like some of the principles behind your work here, but unsupported claims like this:

    As best I can determine, a lot of the students that the President has in mind are dummies and slackers, i.e., those who are too stupid or too lazy to earn their way in and through college. We seem to have quite a few of those. President Obama doesn’t really care if they are dummies or slackers. He only cares that they can vote.

    are, to me, a turnoff. I realize you’re writing under a certain persona–all writers do, whether they admit or deny it–but it doesn’t follow that you’re exempt from normal standards of good writing.

    Regarding the actual content, I work at a community college and can tell you from long experience that most adult students are neither dumb nor lazy. For a variety of reasons, many missed out on postsecondary education a long time ago, and a year of college now could help them revitalize their family’s economic prospects. Even though community college is less expensive than most other options, they don’t have the tuition money idling in their wallet. They’re willing to sacrifice right now for the opportunity, though, and they tend to work like bees once they’re in the right program.

    Your “Five Minute University” notion makes for a clever, very self-satisfied blog post. But it doesn’t quite live up to the serious issues at stake. Sorry to see you on the wrong side of such an important discussion.

  6. 09allin says:

    We have somehow made going to college the “Holy Grail”. I run an urban high school and work with economically disadvantaged students every day, all day. Their parents have come to believe that sending their kids to college will make up for their own lack of parenting and their own lack of motivation to understand the world they live in. “Going to college” is talked about as if it is the magic bullet that will thrust everyone up out of a generational poverty mindset. It is also widely believed that everyone is entitled to a free post-secondary education without doing the hard work of learing in K-12. I see/hear this point of view daily, and have come to the conclusion that it is driven by a media inspired ignorance. Somehow political correctness has taken over for common sense and hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I also see hard working people in econmically disadvantaged situations who reach goals that they set and then work very hard to achieve. I just get very tired of people who do not participate in their child’s education insisting that the educational system has sole responsibility for raising their child correctly. This is a large part of what leads to kids in college running up all kinds of debt and not achieving anything. I am all for scholarships and grants to college students. I am also all for very high standards for students, teachers, administrators, and expectations of parents.

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