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Thread: US college enrollment is declining

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    US college enrollment is declining

    I was surprised to see read this.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...lege-rcna40935

    To me it seems the need for a college degree has been growing. Good paying/benefits non degreed jobs seem to be declining. At least in my area. The article gives several possible reasons. But personally I don't see a whole lot of non degreed jobs that will get you out of the low income bracket. Here in CA most people don't have to pay any tuition at 2yr colleges. Lower income families can also qualify for financial aid.

    It just seems odd the percentage of people choosing to go to college is declining.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I've been meaning to Google stuff like: "How many people with huge College Debt really have no reason to have ever gone to college?" The fact that they can't add and subtract or understand DEBT.....

    Me NO like the idea of writing off College Debt... But will gladly let you work it off in the military.
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    I've been meaning to Google stuff like: "How many people with huge College Debt really have no reason to have ever gone to college?" The fact that they can't add and subtract or understand DEBT.....

    Me NO like the idea of writing off College Debt... But will gladly let you work it off in the military.
    The cost of college and going in debt is some of the reasons listed in the article. I'm not a big support of just writing off student loans. Would like to see more effort to make college less expensive. Would also like to see more mandatory guidance counseling. To many people get degrees in fields that there is a very low job market or the expected salary will make it very difficult to pay back the student loans. I'm not trying stop people from pursuing what they're interested in but at least make them aware of what their job prospects and probable income will be.

    I have a granddaughter that's starting college in a couple of weeks. She's wants to pursue psychology or art. Her mom is not real thrilled. lol

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    It's not surprising me that more are opting to not go to college. Our youngest doesn't want to go. Doesn't know quite what they want to do either, so that plays a bit into it. But people are starting to realize that college isn't the be-all end-all and that there's a massive opportunity for careers outside of things that require degrees. There's an entire generation or two that was pushed into college by the previous generation, and as a result, a lot of the trades lost people... and now they're offering up big time opportunities because there's a large gap between supply & demand for things like that.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    When I went to college, it was kind of expensive. I started out paying about $10K/year, and that went up by 1K each year. A few years back, I looked up what my college was now charging, and it was about $55K/year.

    I know that there is inflation, but that's an extraordinary jump. Better yet, I know that it isn't all justified. The year I graduated, the college said that the next year would jump by $2K because they wanted to catch up to the price charged by colleges that they wanted to be compared to.

    That's not all that unusual, either. The price is more about appearance than need. I then tried to find out what people actually paid per year. After all, you could say that the cost was whatever you wanted, then offer such generous scholarships that nobody actually paid that price. It appeared that the average actual cost at that time was around $33K. That's still a whole lot, but it makes the $55K look like quite a bit of fiction.

    Still, I was paying off college debt for several years after graduating, despite starting when I was in grad school. Had my debt been three times as high, it would have certainly taken a whole lot longer to pay off. On the other hand, starting pay for an intro job in the field may have roughly doubled in the same time, so the apparent debt might not be so high.

    One totally unrelated point might be that a college degree isn't what it used to be. Where I work, you pretty much need a masters to get an interview. Perhaps a graduate degree is the new college degree?
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    It's not surprising me that more are opting to not go to college. Our youngest doesn't want to go. Doesn't know quite what they want to do either, so that plays a bit into it. But people are starting to realize that college isn't the be-all end-all and that there's a massive opportunity for careers outside of things that require degrees. There's an entire generation or two that was pushed into college by the previous generation, and as a result, a lot of the trades lost people... and now they're offering up big time opportunities because there's a large gap between supply & demand for things like that.

    -tg
    What are these opportunities your talking about. Not trying to argue, I'd like to know.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    One totally unrelated point might be that a college degree isn't what it used to be. Where I work, you pretty much need a masters to get an interview. Perhaps a graduate degree is the new college degree?
    I'd say it was related. If people think it takes a Masters to make college pay off, then that could discourage people.

    CA is an expensive state to live but there are affordable ways to get a degree. Your first two years can be really cheap at a junior college, that just leaves two years of loans of any sizable amount. But if you decide to go all 4yrs at a private college, then that's on you. I'm not against it, if you can afford it. Or your career choice pays enough to make paying back the loans possible without struggling to pay your necessary expenses.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    CA is an expensive state to live but there are affordable ways to get a degree. Your first two years can be really cheap at a junior college, that just leaves two years of loans of any sizable amount. But if you decide to go all 4yrs at a private college, then that's on you. I'm not against it, if you can afford it. Or your career choice pays enough to make paying back the loans possible without struggling to pay your necessary expenses.
    1) even state colleges are getting outrageous...
    2) This is why there's a teacher shortage now ... for the amount of crap they have to put up with... then first you go into debit to get the BS/BA that you need _just to start_ and then sell your soul to get a Masters... assuming you only want to teach up through high school, anything beyond that is a PhD at a minimum.
    There's too many careers that think they "need" a degree when in fact they do not. Software developers for instance. It doesn't take a college degree to do what we do. This is one career that could easily be tossed out of many colleges with no effect on things. The thought that having a degree some how makes you more desirable and "better" is a fallacy.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    What are these opportunities your talking about. Not trying to argue, I'd like to know.
    Welders, woodworking, craftsmen, electricians. things like that. Even networking - designing lans, and running cables and such - doesn't really require a degree. I'm not saying it doesn't take any instruction, just that a 4yr degree for those jobs aren't necessary.

    And that's just scratching the surface.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    Welders, woodworking, craftsmen, electricians. things like that. Even networking - designing lans, and running cables and such - doesn't really require a degree. I'm not saying it doesn't take any instruction, just that a 4yr degree for those jobs aren't necessary.

    And that's just scratching the surface.

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    Those are good job if you can get your foot in the door.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    It doesn't take a college degree to do what we do. This is one career that could easily be tossed out of many colleges with no effect on things.
    I think most large software companies would want a degree or proven experience. 20 - 30 years ago it was pretty common for people to get into the business without a degree. I'm sure it's still possible but not as many. I didn't have a software degree. A lot of people became developers because their company needed one and they were the only one with any experience or knowledge.

    The thought that having a degree some how makes you more desirable and "better" is a fallacy.
    I think it does(more desirable), especially when your first starting out. A degree doesn't mean your a better programmer. But who would you hire for a entry level position. If I have two candidates, neither with professional experience, I'd take the one with a degree. I always feel one of the best things about getting a BS/BA is it shows you are willing to put in the work to achieve something.

    But it certainly doesn't prove your a good programmer.

    Edit - I'm bored so I'll drone on.

    I agree most jobs don't need a degree. But the trouble is most of the people doing the hiring require them. I like the apprenticeship concept but not sure how practical it is. On a small scale I think it works but not sure it scales up very well. The area where I live has very little construction happening. So jobs like welder, electricians are hard to find and don't pay union scale. Maybe that's why I feel the need for a degree is more important than ever. Also, I have one child that makes $22hr and one that makes $65. Well they're not children, they're in their 40's. lol
    Last edited by wes4dbt; Aug 10th, 2022 at 08:52 PM.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    There are some graduate degrees where you can have your debts forgiven if you work in some field for a couple years. Psychologists are one, probably nursing is another, though I'm not sure about that. In biology, and several other sciences, you can get at least a masters without incurring any cost. Essentially, you can get paid to get the degree, albeit paid at a very low rate.
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I wonder whether at least part of the reduction in numbers is related to the right-wing attack on universities in general as left-wing indoctrination camps. I think that the desire to see your children go to university may even have been stronger on the right than the left in years gone by, but maybe not so much any more. Unfortunately, it's probably the lower classes who have bought into that propaganda the most so it's likely the lower classes who will be less likely to reap the benefits of a university education. I do agree that those benefits aren't quite what they once were though.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Oh look, another thread about to get locked.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I've lived within walking distance of a university my entire life. In the 1980's, it had a reputation (accurately) of being a party school. Enrollment increased steadily up until probably the mid 2000's. Since then, it has decreased significantly. I'm fairly sure that the full time student population is now about 40% of what it was at its peak. One of the big reasons for this decline is that crime in the area around campus skyrocketed.

    Several years ago, there would be reports of college students being assaulted/mugged while walking home from downtown bars weekly, if not more often. Local officials didn't really do anything specific about it for a while other than to suggest things like that people should avoid walking alone. It went from being known as a party school to being known as an unsafe school. That's a poisonous reputation to have.

    Thankfully, there are far fewer reports of these types of assaults happening these days, although that could just mean they still happen but aren't being reported in the local news.

    That obviously doesn't explain a national trend, but that's just my contribution regarding my local university.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    Oh look, another thread about to get locked.
    My comment wasn't specifically intended to be antagonistic. It was merely a statement of fact. I think that most right-wingers would acknowledge that many right-wingers consider many universities to be bastions of left-wing ideology, or at least they claim they do publicly. I obviously have my own opinions about that but I'm not even making a judgement on it here. I'm simply saying that it is a thing and that thing may be a reason that university applications are down. If right-wingers think that they or their children will have left-wing ideology foisted upon them at university then, whether or not that is actually the case, it is a potential reason for fewer right-wingers to be applying to universities.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    My comment wasn't specifically intended to be antagonistic. It was merely a statement of fact. I think that most right-wingers would acknowledge that many right-wingers consider many universities to be bastions of left-wing ideology, or at least they claim they do publicly. I obviously have my own opinions about that but I'm not even making a judgement on it here. I'm simply saying that it is a thing and that thing may be a reason that university applications are down. If right-wingers think that they or their children will have left-wing ideology foisted upon them at university then, whether or not that is actually the case, it is a potential reason for fewer right-wingers to be applying to universities.
    My comment wasn't a comment on your comment, it was more of a preemptive comment about subsequent comments from other commenters about your comment.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    There are some graduate degrees where you can have your debts forgiven if you work in some field for a couple years. Psychologists are one, probably nursing is another, though I'm not sure about that. In biology, and several other sciences, you can get at least a masters without incurring any cost. Essentially, you can get paid to get the degree, albeit paid at a very low rate.
    My daughter is a nurse, there are some employers that will pay the expense of a Masters but you got to agree to work for them for a few years, the hard part is the cost of the undergrad degree.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    I've lived within walking distance of a university my entire life. In the 1980's, it had a reputation (accurately) of being a party school. Enrollment increased steadily up until probably the mid 2000's. Since then, it has decreased significantly. I'm fairly sure that the full time student population is now about 40% of what it was at its peak. One of the big reasons for this decline is that crime in the area around campus skyrocketed.

    Several years ago, there would be reports of college students being assaulted/mugged while walking home from downtown bars weekly, if not more often. Local officials didn't really do anything specific about it for a while other than to suggest things like that people should avoid walking alone. It went from being known as a party school to being known as an unsafe school. That's a poisonous reputation to have.

    Thankfully, there are far fewer reports of these types of assaults happening these days, although that could just mean they still happen but aren't being reported in the local news.

    That obviously doesn't explain a national trend, but that's just my contribution regarding my local university.
    I guess the predators will gravitate to where the prey is. It would be interesting to know what the rate of crime was and is. It may be that the rate of mugging per student has always been the same but the number of muggings was higher when the number of students was higher and so it seemed that the problem was worse when it wasn't really. It's also possible that a significant reduction in students has resulted in an even more significant reduction in muggers because finding a mark was harder so most of them left or stopped mugging. It's also quite possible that the general level of sobriety of the student population is a factor. If the school had a reputation for partying then the average student may have been less sober and thus easier to mug. It may also be that the reputation of the school will attract or deter muggers because it affects how easy they expect the marks to be, whether or not they actually are any easier. Many possibilities.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    My comment wasn't a comment on your comment, it was more of a preemptive comment about subsequent comments from other commenters about your comment.
    Noted. It would be interesting to see what form such comments would take. There would likely be some knee-jerk reactions along the lines of "you said right wing bad so we say left wing bad", but they would likely be from people who had also, at some time or another, claimed that universities were bastions of left-wing ideology. Maybe not so much here, but I'm fairly certain that there are many places that that would happen.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I'll take it a different route.

    There are so many "fame" outlets these days. Way more than in the past. Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, Tik-Tok, and probably many other sites I've never heard of or used, where people can get famous and make tons of money, and as far as I know, none have any sort of educational requirement.

    Having people on those sites seen as "role models" has, I'm sure, caused a lot of people to forego college and are attempting to achieve fame and fortune on those platforms.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    Noted. It would be interesting to see what form such comments would take. There would likely be some knee-jerk reactions along the lines of "you said right wing bad so we say left wing bad", but they would likely be from people who had also, at some time or another, claimed that universities were bastions of left-wing ideology. Maybe not so much here, but I'm fairly certain that there are many places that that would happen.
    I haven't taken a college class in a long time, but I can't imagine professors are frequently delving into pushing political ideologies of any kind in, say, an advanced math class or a computer programming class. I will say that I would be annoyed if I was student in a "not even quasi political or societal" class where the professor did that, regardless of if I agreed with them or not.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    I'll take it a different route.

    There are so many "fame" outlets these days. Way more than in the past. Youtube, Instagram, Twitch, Tik-Tok, and probably many other sites I've never heard of or used, where people can get famous and make tons of money, and as far as I know, none have any sort of educational requirement.

    Having people on those sites seen as "role models" has, I'm sure, caused a lot of people to forego college and are attempting to achieve fame and fortune on those platforms.
    There are almost certainly multiple factors involved and I would not be surprised to learn that this was one of them.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    I haven't taken a college class in a long time, but I can't imagine professors are frequently delving into pushing political ideologies of any kind in, say, an advanced math class or a computer programming class. I will say that I would be annoyed if I was student in a "not even quasi political or societal" class where the professor did that, regardless of if I agreed with them or not.
    Much of it is just propaganda but I think that it is partly built on university polices. Universities have to think about things like inclusivity and treatment of minorities and I think that many right-wingers think - or at least profess to think - that such things just shouldn't be concerns at all so, if they are, it's obviously raving lefties trying to impose their ideology on honest, hard-working Americans. It's also the case that there are some courses that include instruction relating to feminism, social justice, race, gender, etc, and there seems to be an assumption that, despite those being a small minority of the classes available, the subject matter they address permeates all other courses too.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Back on topic...

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    It just seems odd the percentage of people choosing to go to college is declining.
    One factor I haven't seen brought up yet is a change in general attitudes within the college age population. Or perhaps that just restates the issue originally raised here.

    Labor pains: Millennials and zoomers are the future of the American workforce

    On the plus side, millennials bring real skill in collaboration, which means they perform well in management roles and dynamic, fluid environments and do not cave under the stress.

    The zoomers, the following generation, come with a completely different approach: theyíre hyper competitive and fairly anti-social.

    And the sort of mass touchy feely work that the millennials are capable of and competent at and famous for, the zoomers just canít compete in that field. So anything that requires a team effort like management, blue collar work, construction, they just donít do.

    They just wanna lock themselves in a closet and code, which means this next generation cannot contribute to the sort of labor shortages that weíre seeing right now in trucking, in agriculture, in upper management, in finance.

    If all of this sounds bleak, you should know America is in a pretty good situation compared to the rest of the world.
    The reasons have nothing to do with age since we all pass through that age range for a time in our lives. While the picture he paints there is stark and somewhat exaggerated the underlying causes are most likely cultural. Things have changed, including goals.

    How many of the current college cohort grew up wanting to be an astronaut, aerospace mathematician, engineer, pilot, fireman, etc. etc. like kids growing up in the post-Sputnik era?

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I thin you're probably looking at a variety of factors but I suspect the single most important one is that a university education simply isn't a sound financial investment anymore for most people. The fees are HUGE (worse over there, I think, but rising fast over here too) and there are still decent job opportunities without one if you're willing to start at the bottom or come in via an alternate route or just stick to a life of blue collar work. I think those job opportunities are diminishing but they still exist, the fees are the overwhelmingly significant factor.

    Interestingly, in another thread where we got onto globalisation, Dil and Wes were both identifying that blue collar workers and the associated geographical areas are being left behind. I meant to come back on that but got distracted and the discussion moved on before I got the chance so here goes. I agree, they are and you guys are right to be concerned and to want to support them. I think the higher and further education systems are the perfect way to do it.

    We should be pushing to finance affordable (ideally free) education options in those areas. This should be a blend of vocational and academic courses and "on the job" schemes like apprenticeships. And, most importantly, these should support mature students returning to reskill as well as the more traditional academic path. I don't want to trivialising the difficulty in reskilling - it's hard both intellectually and emotionally (can feel like a real blow to your pride) but At least this would offer a path forward for those people who are getting left behind and, more importantly, to their children.

    I think the demonization of the education system that JMc touched upon is probably a factor but I suspect it's a minor one.
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Interestingly, in another thread where we got onto globalisation, Dil and Wes were both identifying that blue collar workers and the associated geographical areas are being left behind. I meant to come back on that but got distracted and the discussion moved on before I got the chance so here goes. I agree, they are and you guys are right to be concerned and to want to support them. I think the higher and further education systems are the perfect way to do it.
    I saw a video of James O'Brien recently where he played a recording of Rishi Sunak addressing some group in an affluent area and telling them that he was responsible for changing funding models that Labour had set up to help "deprived urban areas" so that such affluent areas "got the funding they deserved". He called them "deprived urban areas" while literally boasting about depriving them further. I'm sure there are plenty of Republicans doing similar things in the US but I'd wager that there are also plenty of Democrats at it too. I'm quite sure that good education is one of the things they're deprived of. That's likely at the primary and secondary level though, but that would almost certainly lead to fewer such people going on to tertiary education. As such an education gets more and more expensive, it would also become less and less attractive.

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    Oh look, another thread about to get locked.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    My comment wasn't specifically intended to be antagonistic. It was merely a statement of fact. I think that most right-wingers would acknowledge that many right-wingers consider many universities to be bastions of left-wing ideology, or at least they claim they do publicly. I obviously have my own opinions about that but I'm not even making a judgement on it here. I'm simply saying that it is a thing and that thing may be a reason that university applications are down. If right-wingers think that they or their children will have left-wing ideology foisted upon them at university then, whether or not that is actually the case, it is a potential reason for fewer right-wingers to be applying to universities.
    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    My comment wasn't a comment on your comment, it was more of a preemptive comment about subsequent comments from other commenters about your comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    Noted. It would be interesting to see what form such comments would take. There would likely be some knee-jerk reactions along the lines of "you said right wing bad so we say left wing bad", but they would likely be from people who had also, at some time or another, claimed that universities were bastions of left-wing ideology. Maybe not so much here, but I'm fairly certain that there are many places that that would happen.
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  29. #29
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    I've lived within walking distance of a university my entire life.
    I've lived within walking distance of SEVERAL universities my entire life....though I suppose that might be partly due to being willing to walk a very long ways....
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  30. #30
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by OptionBase1 View Post
    My comment wasn't a comment on your comment, it was more of a preemptive comment about subsequent comments from other commenters about your comment.
    Now THAT'S a comment!!
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  31. #31
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    Much of it is just propaganda but I think that it is partly built on university polices. Universities have to think about things like inclusivity and treatment of minorities and I think that many right-wingers think - or at least profess to think - that such things just shouldn't be concerns at all so, if they are, it's obviously raving lefties trying to impose their ideology on honest, hard-working Americans. It's also the case that there are some courses that include instruction relating to feminism, social justice, race, gender, etc, and there seems to be an assumption that, despite those being a small minority of the classes available, the subject matter they address permeates all other courses too.
    That was made explicitly clear in Idaho. When the last president of Boise State retired, the new president was immediately presented with a missive from a set of legislatures criticizing the universities diversity programs. Here's a link:

    https://www.eastidahonews.com/2019/0...sity-programs/

    This led to a reduction in funding for higher education in Idaho, and an ongoing tussle.
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  32. #32
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    OK....I'll raise my hand and admit I have NO COLLEGE what's so ever. Never have needed it. I got out of high school and:

    1. Seven years of retail management. Six years with one company and one year with another.

    2. Went to work for a Property Management Company that was in a three way tie for owing the most apartments in the Country. I worked there sixteen years. Two years as an apartment manager and 14 years in a regional accounting office. Most of the accounting work was pre Desktop Computer... Doing things manually is a good thing... BUT, when computers came out, I was on the leading edge.... I used to have to drive downtown to the National HQ and use the President's Secretary's Apple III because it had an external floppy and we could run advanced VisiCalc to do budgets.

    3. Went to work for a Software Company that made accounting software for YOU GUESSED IT - Property Management. It was a marriage made in heaven. I worked there for sixteen years also.

    The moral of my story was working WITH the system... Work hard - show up - get promoted from within.

    I was a late bloomer and bought my first house in my late forties... Bought a new car every 2 to 4 years to avoid repairs etc... Didn't all right for myself.

  33. #33
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    A pet peeve of mine, but "legislatures" are a different thing from individual "legislators." I guess I worked out your intent from context, but come on, son.

    We are talking about education.

    Full disclosure: I did some time as a legislative aide back in the '70s-'80s. That might make me more sensitive though I think this is just common speech rather than esoteric jargon. At least it should be.

  34. #34
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Failed typo correction...oops.

    Full disclosure: I did some time as an unpaid aid, as my mother was getting her PhD in government systems...until she got a bit too into the research, dropped the dissertation, and ended up getting elected to three terms in the house. I spent more time listening to legislative debates, wandering the halls of the state house, eating in the legislative cafeteria (good food), finding mushrooms growing out of the carpet in an annex, and running errands for the house sergeant-at-arms office. I spent more time in a state house than most teenagers...or college students. Good times, really. The best place to read in the NH state house is the senate balcony. Never did find the senate in session in all the time I was there.
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  35. #35
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Well I was paid, but if it makes you feel any better that time ended costing me something over $70K in cash on retirement decades later.

    Just an unhappy confluence of the timing specified in some legislation and my temporary jump over to legislative service. I have a small list of such things and it is amazing how many of them seemed to follow and target me specifically. The truth is probably that I am just part of a targeted age group deemed tasty by the vampires.

  36. #36
    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I do not have a college education, although I "attended" (and I mean in the loosest sense of the word) a state university for 2 semesters.

    My first career was in the insurance industry. You do not need a college degree to become involved in insurance. I worked in the industry as an employee of a small agency from 2011 until 2015, then as an employer of a small agency from 2015 until 2019. It was good money and I enjoyed the luxuries of working in an office environment which is a big deal during Louisiana summers.

    My second (and current) career is in the software development industry. You do not need a college degree to become a programmer. I started picking up contract jobs in 2013 and then in 2019 I started working for a small-ish size company as a salaried employee. Again, it is good money and not only do I enjoy the luxuries of working indoors but I also enjoy the luxuries of working remotely.

    Those are two examples of not needing a college degree to work in a given field. There is also the fact that I live in south Louisiana where there are plenty of work in the refineries or offshore that do not require college degrees but pay beaucoup money.

    My reasoning for not seeing college through was money. I lost my scholarship my first semester (big surprise) and had to pay out of pocket for the next. The cost was ridiculous, even back in 2009/10. Looking back, I think the best thing I did was dropout of college. It showed me that I can fail but bounce back and it also taught me how to set goals that I wanted.
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  37. #37
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Had no interest working from a young age so finished University (is college the same?).
    From my point of view you need experience to get jobs but to get experience you might need a degree to get you started.
    I was on public sector, private sector, insurance companies, landed on one of the big ones in Greece, multinational company and now we merged into a bigger company.
    Do I like my job?...Meeh, it gets money on the table but a music band is on the makings so you never know. A mild successful bang gains 10 times the employee salary at least. Will I make it, I don't know. Do I need a degree for that? Nop...But I got a Berklee one. I didn't intent to get it, it just happened.
    ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ
    πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν·

  38. #38
    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    Yes, university and college typically interchangeable.
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  39. #39
    Smooth Moperator techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    From my point of view you need experience to get jobs but to get experience you might need a degree to get you started.
    Or an apprenticeship, or some kind of mentorship, or join the military - that's what I did. No experience needed, all the training you need, and when you get out, you have experience - even if you don't have a degree. That's what happened to me. I joined the Air Force and got my experience that way. the only degree I have is a measly Assoc Applied Science which I got through the military since I'd get credit for my on the job training. I've thought about going back and getting a BS degree, but the cost is a major factor.

    -tg
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  40. #40

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    Re: US college enrollment is declining

    I'm not surprised to hear lots of stories about success without a degree. The people that didn't succeed probably aren't on this forum. I'll also add, just because you get a degree, doesn't mean you'll be successful.

    My area use to be a lot like dday9's. Lot's of blue collar jobs that paid well and had benefits. But that's not the case now. Amazon opened a couple distribution centers in the area but they only pay a couple of dollars over minimum wage. But that's considered a good job around hear. The problem is a decent 1 bedroom apartment start at @ $1,200 a month. Our area is in a strange position, a lot of people from the Bay Area (where there's high paying jobs) have moved here because of the ridiculously high house prices in the Bay Area (SF, Oakland, Silicon Valley...). They are willing to commute 4hrs a day. But this has driven our housing price way up.

    So as I said before, maybe my area is shaping my view on the need for a college education. Not everyone will fail to succeed without a degree but the majority in this area are in the low income range. Money doesn't buy happiness but not having enough for descent food and shelter sucks.

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