Monday, August 22, 2011

Go To Pell

Across America this week Colleges and Universities begin the 2011-2012 academic year, I thought it appropriate this week to comment on the state of financing in college education. I am using a headline “Go To Pell” from an article I recently read in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

About half of undergraduates in America now receive Pell Grants. President Obama’s progressive dream of making this a universal entitlement seems close at hand. Why is this bad?

1). Millions of middle-class Americans who would have gone to college anyway are getting the award. Thus, the positive enrollment effect of Pell has become diluted, while an undesirable side effect – increases in tuition fees fed by Pell money has grown.

2). Many academically unprepared students are bribed to go to college for which they flounder, or are helped by deteriorating academic standards as exampled by grade inflation.

3). There are vast wastes of money. What is the success rate of Pell recipients? No one, especially the Obama Administration, knows.

4). There are no performance standards, no academic expectations, a marginal student who takes courses for eight years and then drops out gets twice as much money as a student who works hard and graduates with honors in four years. Academic mediocrity is celebrated and rewarded.

5). The program contributes to the growing disconnect between labor-market realities and student-employment expectations. In other words college graduates doing jobs traditionally held by those with high school educations. The over-investment in higher education deflects funds away from unfunded liabilities to fund senior citizen pensions and health care.

Higher education in America lives in a dream world, clueless to the extent this overspending effects our nation’s fiscal integrity and future stability. It is now time that not-for-profit and for-profit institutions manage their enterprises in tune with fiscal realities and common sense.

AMERICA’S LEAST POPULAR STARS: 1. Paris Hilton, 2. Charlie Sheen, T3. Britney Spears/Kayne 4. Schwarzenegger 5. Tiger Woods

AMERICA’S MOST POPULAR STARS: 1. Betty White, 2. Denzel Washington, 3. Sandra Bullock, 4. Clint Eastwood

OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL – Old School Bill Clinton: Out to eat juicy hamburgers and fries, then chase young woman. New School Bill Clinton: Out to eat soy burgers and carrots, then chase retired woman.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Sean Connery (81), Elvis Costello (57), Nori Murphy …famous academic techie, Diana Nyad (62), Will Shortz (59), Robb Suffredini …famous soccer coach.

NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE PICKS: ACC – Florida State, Big East – West Virginia, Big Ten – Michigan State, Big 12 – Oklahoma, Liberty League – St. Lawrence, Pac 12 – Oregon, SEC – Alabama, SCIAC – Redlands

SPORTS BLINK - Sports Illustrated's college football preview issue includes "Best Games of 2011," by Gene Menez: 1. Oregon at Stanford, Nov. 12 ... 2. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 5 ... 3. LSU vs. Oregon, Sept. 3, in Arlington, Texas The first big Saturday-night game of the season ...4. Oklahoma at Florida State, Sept. 17 ... 5. Nebraska at Wisconsin, Oct. 1 Welcome to the Big Ten, Huskers. ... 6. Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Dec. 3 ...7. TCU at Boise State, Nov. 12 ... 8. Wisconsin at Ohio State, Oct. 29 ... 9. Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 26 The last two national champions renew their annual hatefest ... 10. Texas A&M at Oklahoma, Nov. 5.

--SI has five regional covers this week: Alabama ... Oklahoma ... Stanford ... South Carolina ... Nebraska.

--SI's preseason Top 5: 1. Alabama ... 2. Oklahoma ... 3. LSU ... 4. Stanford ... 5. Oregon

HOLLYWOOD BOWL – Still remains the best place to see a concert in the summer. The atmosphere, the acoustics, the picnics – second to none. Thank you St. Lawrence Alumni, especially Pris Schroeder ’56, for a wonderful evening of food, wine, stories, and Disney’s Fantasia.

Next week, pro football picks, first week of The Swami’s college football game of the week and the Jack Ass of the Month.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
August 22, 2011


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