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Old 2008-08-01, 03:29   Link #1641
Autumn Demon
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I see the problem with primary and secondary school edcation being money. Towns finance their own schools; consequently, rich towns will have good schools and poor towns will have bad ones. I see this as blatant inequality from the government and is immeasurably harmful to people because education is one of the most important things in society. The best thing that can be done for improving education is to equalize how much funding schools receive based off of how many students they have, not how rich their students are. I can't imagine this happening at the national level, but perhaps there's hope for equality at the state level.
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Old 2008-08-01, 10:06   Link #1642
yezhanquan
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The boundaries of the US state governments and the federal government never cease to confuse me.
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Old 2008-08-01, 10:16   Link #1643
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
The boundaries of the US state governments and the federal government never cease to confuse me.
Don't worry, they confuse US congress, too.

The end result has been the federal government taking power from the states and the states removing rights from citizens, all from ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation.
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Old 2008-08-01, 10:48   Link #1644
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I watched a program or something about how colleges are utterly ripping off the people in the U.S., but I can't remember its name at the moment. Basically a good majority of the money that colleges request in things like intuition especially, is not even necessary for keeping the college running. It actually sits around accumulating. Then we get colleges doing stupid things like this. But you know I guess they had to spend $90,000 on a logo that a good number of people just in this forum could photoshop. If you're curious about the grand job they did with the logo, it's the logo in top left corner of this link.

The increasing expenses for schooling in this country is a complete travesty.
I post a link to a NYtime story on a no frill school a few pages back. It focus on a no thrills school where tutition is free in exchange for the students to work about 10hrs for school per week. Everything in the school is student made. Chairs, tables, beds and even the food in the cafeteria is grown by students. The school has no sports teams or $90k logos. if you have more schools like that the US wouldn't have a problem with higher edu cost.
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Old 2008-08-01, 13:13   Link #1645
kingsky123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApostleOfGod View Post
First things first, I'm not even American myself, but I'm very interested in the whole issue, and it IS a worldly hot topic after all

Now my understanding is that most of you respected individuals are Japanese or have connections / ties to Japanese culture (through background, language, relatives, etc.), but as non-Americans, any thoughts about the US elections? It may not occur or matter to some of you guys, but the American President has a lot of POWA o_O. Anyways, I'll go first .

I'm still undecided for sure, as the Democrats and Republicans do not have their one representative candidate chosen for the Presidential elections coming up in 2008. However, my vote is on Ron Paul, because I feel that his values and morals are along the lines of mine as well, and if I had to pick a Democrat, it would be Barack Obama, because I feel he has a lot of potential and can live up to his words.

What do YOU think?

Edit: I'm not actually voting, but I forgot the word used in this situation for *cheering on*...
But as I mentioned, I'm not even American, so .
Sorry if I threw anyone off

Edit 2: Respect each other's opinions, and please don't flame each other, everyone's different!!!

i forgot where i read it from, but it was a rather meaningful quote:

Americans should not be voting for america's president, the world should vote for the america's president
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Old 2008-08-01, 13:22   Link #1646
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
I post a link to a NYtime story on a no frill school a few pages back. It focus on a no thrills school where tutition is free in exchange for the students to work about 10hrs for school per week. Everything in the school is student made. Chairs, tables, beds and even the food in the cafeteria is grown by students. The school has no sports teams or $90k logos. if you have more schools like that the US wouldn't have a problem with higher edu cost.
There are institutions where higher education is still relatively cheap: community colleges. Yet community colleges receive a lot of scorn, and in my middle class experience it was practically seen as shameful to go to a community college. I'd imagine that the by-the-students, for-the-students school concept that you linked to would receive similar skepticism and would be viewed as second-rate. I don't think it'd cut into the costs of higher education.
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Old 2008-08-01, 13:47   Link #1647
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Going to community college is good for the trades - many of them specialize in preparing students for those lines of certification (auto-diesel, electric, plumbing, hvac, etc).

Otherwise, community colleges (most are 2 year) is basically a way to get the generic college courses from the first year done at cheaper cost - then transfer to a 4 year school. The trick, of course, is that 4 year schools can be picky when deciding whether a course is transferable or not. Private schools can be picky when transferring from public and vice versa.

Frankly, schools only really started this vicious inflation after the government (federal and state) dropped many of the support lines to the public colleges in the late 1980s...
Privatization of the loan programs also increased costs to the student (higher interest rates). My entire student loan from college was through something called the National Defense Student Loan program .... 3% interest (low even in the late 1970s).
Based on my experience with my son attending college -- the current maximum amount is piddling and twice the interest rate. Way to support higher education that has societal payback :P
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Old 2008-08-01, 13:48   Link #1648
tripperazn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Demon View Post
I see the problem with primary and secondary school edcation being money. Towns finance their own schools; consequently, rich towns will have good schools and poor towns will have bad ones. I see this as blatant inequality from the government and is immeasurably harmful to people because education is one of the most important things in society. The best thing that can be done for improving education is to equalize how much funding schools receive based off of how many students they have, not how rich their students are. I can't imagine this happening at the national level, but perhaps there's hope for equality at the state level.
I think this is over simplifying the situation, somewhat. AFAIK, California basically funds all it's schools equally from a state pool of money, to be divided by student. It spends about $8-9 thousand per student per year, yet it's rank within the US is 49th of 50 states. FYI, the other states spend a comparable amount, about a thousand more to a thousand less, and end up with much better students.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found out after years of donation that giving high schools money does not necessarily increase performance.

The social situation at many of these schools that are struggling is the issue. It's true that poverty is linked with poor performance in school, but "correlation does not imply causation". The Foundation noted that even with top-level teachers and brand new computers/books, kids didn't improve. They had better conditions than even the rich suburbs, but performed at the same level.

The point is that education is expensive, not just in the tuition costs. In economics, you look at cost by comparing two different options. Going to a nice, prestigious university after 4 years of hard work in high school costs at THE VERY LEAST $35,000 per year. Cost wise that is $0 income for the first 4 years and negative $35,000 for at least 4 years after that.

On the other hand, this poor kid could be working minimum wage instead of going to school. Let's estimate this job to come to about $20,000 annually. He skips school to work and doesn't go to college. That's $20,000 every year of high school.

These are the two options and you take the difference between them to figure out the cost of university compared to working.
($0x4 years)-($20,000 x 4 years) = net $80,000 loss for high school
($-35,000 x 4 years)-($20,000 x 4 years) = net $220,000 loss for college

Total Loss for Poor Kid going to college: $300,000 on the family over a period of 8 years. That is assuming he doesn't get promoted, and his tuition doesn't go up.

The point is, schools as of now are simply not practical for poor people. Children's earning potential comes too late if they focus on school. Therefore, what's the point in trying?
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Old 2008-08-01, 13:48   Link #1649
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
There are institutions where higher education is still relatively cheap: community colleges. Yet community colleges receive a lot of scorn, and in my middle class experience it was practically seen as shameful to go to a community college. I'd imagine that the by-the-students, for-the-students school concept that you linked to would receive similar skepticism and would be viewed as second-rate. I don't think it'd cut into the costs of higher education.
depends on the area

out here in cali when i was in hs, we were actually encourage to go community college by both the counselors and the UC college people.

take the general courses in community colleges to save money and transfer for 3rd and 4th year.
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Old 2008-08-01, 14:03   Link #1650
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripperazn View Post
The point is, schools as of now are simply not practical for poor people. Children's earning potential comes too late if they focus on school. Therefore, what's the point in trying?
It's not just the poor that suffers. Lower middle class kids in high living cost/high wage areas are usually the worst off of the sort since their FAFSA will make them look like they have money -- no need-based aids, sorry -- even though their parents won't have a dime to spare.

Higher middle class parents can at least afford to prepare for their children's expected college education early, although that by all means does not absolve the fact that they *will* pay through their nose.

People keep telling kids to get more and more merit-based scholarships (which, admittedly, are out there -- though sadly like more than half of them insist on "leadership experiences" (cue: time-wasting activities in high school, done specifically just for this stuff)) because, simply put, current US education loans are ruinous ways to "jump" start your adult life: with a big debt burying you into the system; a teacher even told me once that some changes in bankruptcy laws "exempted" certain student loans from being defaulted when one declares bankruptcy. I'm not sure how true this is -- it *is* hearsay -- but if it's true then oh boy.

America's post-secondary education system combines a few of the world's best universities with a horrific display of laissez-faire "justice." And they say them colleges are leftist strongholds, ha!

Every time I buy a college textbook I feel like I'm being fucking cheated out of my guts. A hundred dollars for WHAT!? Do any of you college age and later ever felt the same?
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Old 2008-08-01, 14:04   Link #1651
tripperazn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
depends on the area

out here in cali when i was in hs, we were actually encourage to go community college by both the counselors and the UC college people.

take the general courses in community colleges to save money and transfer for 3rd and 4th year.
I had the same experience with every counselor I talked to. Even when I had the grades to go to a low tier Ivy League as a freshman.

Credits at a community college costs $13 and become credits from whatever school you transfer to, when you transfer. Realistically, there is no drawback for a much lesser cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
It's not just the poor that suffers. Lower middle class kids in high living cost/high wage areas are usually the worst off of the sort since their FAFSA will make them look like they have money -- no need-based aids, sorry -- even though their parents won't have a dime to spare.

Higher middle class parents can at least afford to prepare for their children's expected college education early, although that by all means does not absolve the fact that they *will* pay through their nose.
Well, that's what student loans are for, right?

Getting a degree will multiply earning potential, at the cost of a highly negative income until a kid's mid to late 20's. Middle-class people can survive fine by themselves, they don't need another source of income like poor people often do. The kid takes out loans and the family is fine.

I've seen both of these scenarios happen to my friends and I, it's not as bad as you say. Lower-middle class kids do get FAFSA, upper-mid class usually have planned ahead and have built up a significant pool of assets (I know a pair of twins, both going to Stanford, their upper-mid class dad paid for tuition for 4 years in one lump sum, after saving for decades).
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Old 2008-08-01, 19:06   Link #1652
yezhanquan
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@Irenicus: USD$100 is way too much for one textbook. My college textbooks cost about USD$40, and those are already the more expensive ones.
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Old 2008-08-01, 19:16   Link #1653
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
@Irenicus: USD$100 is way too much for one textbook. My college textbooks cost about USD$40, and those are already the more expensive ones.
the cost of txt books is a big concern. While schools are not addressing this issue themselves a lot professors are by writing up their own teaching material and by passing text books completely. You can also buy used books and/or reverse import text books form out of the country. I heard stories of student who buy text books in canada or uk and bring them back to the state to resell them for a nifty profit.
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Old 2008-08-01, 19:37   Link #1654
yezhanquan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
the cost of txt books is a big concern. While schools are not addressing this issue themselves a lot professors are by writing up their own teaching material and by passing text books completely. You can also buy used books and/or reverse import text books form out of the country. I heard stories of student who buy text books in canada or uk and bring them back to the state to resell them for a nifty profit.
My local copy had the clear disclaimer that the version is NOT to be sold in the US. It probably is targeted at the problem you mentioned.
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Old 2008-08-01, 19:41   Link #1655
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
the cost of txt books is a big concern. While schools are not addressing this issue themselves a lot professors are by writing up their own teaching material and by passing text books completely. You can also buy used books and/or reverse import text books form out of the country. I heard stories of student who buy text books in canada or uk and bring them back to the state to resell them for a nifty profit.
Additionally, a great many economics, science, and math classes are assigning on-line materials based on specific programs and websites that are being set-up across the country to facilitate the learning experience without resorting to expensive books.
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Old 2008-08-01, 19:45   Link #1656
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripperanz
Getting a degree will multiply earning potential, at the cost of a highly negative income until a kid's mid to late 20's. Middle-class people can survive fine by themselves, they don't need another source of income like poor people often do. The kid takes out loans and the family is fine.
It's a bit unfair if you'd restrict this positive analysis when responding to my middle class rant [] but not to your own assessment of the poor's situation, no? True, even lower middle class people often have more resources and financial freedom to sustain the short-term financial loss than the poor, which means a different kind of trade-off analysis are possible for them. But one has to doubt just how true that is nowadays with the economy tightening around its belt once again and interest rates on loans -- including student loans -- are up and up fast. Viewed long-term, it could potentially become an even worse problem what's with the widening income gap, the rapidly increasing price tag for college education, and if this results also in actual drop in college graduate numbers, the decline of productivity growth would put the USA in a nice self-inflicted vicious cycle in an era when her global position is in doubt. I know it's far, far from a certainty, but as our resident Ledgem likes to say (or was it Vexx? Both, I'd say, in different words), dealing with a problem early is way easier than tackling a crisis.

And even now people are saying the college issue is becoming something akin to a crisis. I personally don't see that yet but neither am I seeing roses and unicorns.

Oh, and just to go off on a ranting tangent (i.e. if you think I'm being a pretentious bastard then you're probably correct), I find viewing higher education in terms of financial trade-off's to be terribly...spiritually unfulfilling? Put it this way sure sounds like I'm a classicist facing off against a bourgeois society, but I digress. I merely feel that education is a lot more meaningful than just how much more income you'd make with a degree than without, handled correctly it'd provide the students with a much wider perception of the world than we have had going in, and perhaps even a bit of civic responsibility (don't colleges advertise that all the time too?); but then again I'm a liberal socialist scum partaking in the orgy of corporate America, so what do I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
@Irenicus: USD$100 is way too much for one textbook. My college textbooks cost about USD$40, and those are already the more expensive ones.
It really depends on the class. Since I'm still in the general education stage right now (i.e. not direct Major requirements yet), I actually sometimes choose my classes depend on how outrageous the textbook prices are. Usually the University-wide General Education requirement ones aren't too bad, but some classes, say, a foreign-language one, at least in my experience, just left me feeling a bit bad about myself for pulling out the wallet.

Mathematics, Science, and Engineering ones can easily reach and break the 100$ price mark I'm complaining about though, even buying used. And really now, I understand if supply and demand would dictate some fluctuation in prices, and specialized books without a big mainstream market can be much more expensive than your average paperback, but damn, this is college; we're your goddamn future dammit!

Like Xellos-_^ said though, you could also lucked out and the Professor will rely entirely on other reading materials. I was pleasantly surprised just last semester in a political science class -- a relatively challenging one too -- when I realized there's no textbooks for it...just, err, lots and lots of external texts to read.
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Old 2008-08-01, 23:11   Link #1657
Vexx
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I'm a "pretentious bastard" in that I think *every* American should get a good Renaissance level education in order to participate in our democracy properly --- but then I also think the K-12 sector *ought* to be structured and funded to provide that rather than the colleges (which have been subverted into "professional trade schools" of a sort rather than vague Platonic "leaders of society" preparation).

This, of course, leads to the heresy that businesses need to help fix K-12 and get off their lazy collective HR asses about requiring every jack and jane to have a college degree.
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Old 2008-08-02, 03:54   Link #1658
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
It's a bit unfair if you'd restrict this positive analysis when responding to my middle class rant [] but not to your own assessment of the poor's situation, no? True, even lower middle class people often have more resources and financial freedom to sustain the short-term financial loss than the poor, which means a different kind of trade-off analysis are possible for them. But one has to doubt just how true that is nowadays with the economy tightening around its belt once again and interest rates on loans -- including student loans -- are up and up fast. Viewed long-term, it could potentially become an even worse problem what's with the widening income gap, the rapidly increasing price tag for college education, and if this results also in actual drop in college graduate numbers, the decline of productivity growth would put the USA in a nice self-inflicted vicious cycle in an era when her global position is in doubt. I know it's far, far from a certainty, but as our resident Ledgem likes to say (or was it Vexx? Both, I'd say, in different words), dealing with a problem early is way easier than tackling a crisis.

And even now people are saying the college issue is becoming something akin to a crisis. I personally don't see that yet but neither am I seeing roses and unicorns.

Oh, and just to go off on a ranting tangent (i.e. if you think I'm being a pretentious bastard then you're probably correct), I find viewing higher education in terms of financial trade-off's to be terribly...spiritually unfulfilling? Put it this way sure sounds like I'm a classicist facing off against a bourgeois society, but I digress. I merely feel that education is a lot more meaningful than just how much more income you'd make with a degree than without, handled correctly it'd provide the students with a much wider perception of the world than we have had going in, and perhaps even a bit of civic responsibility (don't colleges advertise that all the time too?); but then again I'm a liberal socialist scum partaking in the orgy of corporate America, so what do I know.
When I was a kid, I thought so, too. Now that I'm a "responsible adult with bills to pay", I'm not so sure. I don't precisely regret my choices (especially since getting a college education at all was my ticket out of lower middle class to middle middle class), but I do feel they were suboptimal. I can only imagine the conundrum for someone who's actually poor, or whose education comes attached with horrible student loans. So, yeah, while I think higher education is worth a few sacrifice, I don't think it's worth becoming a hobo over.
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Old 2008-08-03, 01:11   Link #1659
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
depends on the area

out here in cali when i was in hs, we were actually encourage to go community college by both the counselors and the UC college people.

take the general courses in community colleges to save money and transfer for 3rd and 4th year.
I've met a number of people who did that. It wasn't the general advice from my region, so I was surprised at first. It certainly makes sense, but it really just further proves the point I was trying to make. Why should a person have to go to a junior college/community college, and then transfer out in the third or fourth year simply to get a degree marked with a "better" school's name? I don't know what bothers me more - the superficiality of it (because the student is purely transferring to get a diploma from the school they transfer to, but virtually all of their classes were taken at the "lesser" school) or the fact that people need to do such a transfer to avoid being looked down on. Ideally there wouldn't even be such a huge cost difference that makes such a thing necessary,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Every time I buy a college textbook I feel like I'm being fucking cheated out of my guts. A hundred dollars for WHAT!? Do any of you college age and later ever felt the same?
Yes. Even used textbooks cost a ton at my university's bookstore. I later discovered another resource: international edition books (as yezhanquan mentioned). In my experience they were generally printed paperback, in grayscale and on lower-quality paper, but the price difference was ridiculously large.

I did feel somewhat bad about buying those books, in a way. I can appreciate that lower-costing books are intended for areas of the world where people may not have as many monetary resources as we do here. The spread of knowledge is important. Heck, if we're paying more so as to subsidize the cost of textbooks elsewhere, isn't it partly worthwhile? One might say the textbook companies are charitable, even. Yeah frikkin' right! The profit margins on textbooks must be huge. I suspect that there's a resistance to convert everything to E-books because textbook publishers know that their stuff is going to be the new #1 item on P2P networks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Oh, and just to go off on a ranting tangent (i.e. if you think I'm being a pretentious bastard then you're probably correct), I find viewing higher education in terms of financial trade-off's to be terribly...spiritually unfulfilling? Put it this way sure sounds like I'm a classicist facing off against a bourgeois society, but I digress. I merely feel that education is a lot more meaningful than just how much more income you'd make with a degree than without, handled correctly it'd provide the students with a much wider perception of the world than we have had going in, and perhaps even a bit of civic responsibility (don't colleges advertise that all the time too?); but then again I'm a liberal socialist scum partaking in the orgy of corporate America, so what do I know.
For what it's worth, I agree with you. And let me know if you find a liberal socialist orgy.
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Old 2008-08-03, 02:15   Link #1660
Reckoner
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I've met a number of people who did that. It wasn't the general advice from my region, so I was surprised at first. It certainly makes sense, but it really just further proves the point I was trying to make. Why should a person have to go to a junior college/community college, and then transfer out in the third or fourth year simply to get a degree marked with a "better" school's name? I don't know what bothers me more - the superficiality of it (because the student is purely transferring to get a diploma from the school they transfer to, but virtually all of their classes were taken at the "lesser" school) or the fact that people need to do such a transfer to avoid being looked down on. Ideally there wouldn't even be such a huge cost difference that makes such a thing necessary,
Getting into one of these "better" colleges and graduating with a degree marked by them certainly shows a lot about yourself. You must remember that it is not easy to just simply transfer when you want to, it requires dedication and a lot of hard work with top notch grades in school. By getting into this school you are showing that you have done above the rest to get in and are clearly deserving of it.

The prestige you get by getting into this college becomes attractive when you apply to graduate school or if you try to get a job. It is not simply just getting the education and doing such a thing. I can certainly see the errors of just high priced education in this country (It definitely needs to become more affordable), but there is definitely a reason for having colleges that are more prestigious than others. If this were not a capitalistic society though, I guess it would not.
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