Tag Archives | Higher Education

Corporate Skeptics: Starbucks and Discounted Tuition

By KLNMAX (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about Starbucks offering its employees discounted tuition to Arizona State for an online degree. While this may seem like an incredibly selfless thing for a corporation to do, it turns out that Starbucks won’t be footing much, if any, of the bill.

“Initially, Starbucks said that workers would be able to offset the costs through an upfront scholarship it was providing with Arizona State, but declined to say exactly how much of the cost it was shouldering. The chain estimated that the scholarship would average about $6,500 over two years to cover tuition of about $20,000.

Following the announcement, however, Arizona State University president Michael Crow told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Starbucks is not contributing any money toward the scholarship. Instead, Arizona State will essentially charge workers less than the sticker price for online tuition. Much of the remainder would likely be covered by federal aid since most Starbucks workers don’t earn a lot of money.”

According to AlterNet:

“Right now, about 70% of Starbucks workers are either trying to complete a college degree or want to, making a tuition-reimbursement program seem like an excellent fit for Starbucks “partners” (their empowering name for workers).

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College Graduates Earning Less

OxfordceremonyCongratulations to all the new college grads out there, but have you thought about how much your expensive new college degree is worth? For 2009-10 graduates who were able to land a job (about half), starting salaries fell 10% versus 2006-8, and it doesn’t look like 2011 will be any better. Catherine Rampell reports for the New York Times:

Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. What’s more, only half of the jobs landed by these new graduates even require a college degree, reviving debates about whether higher education is “worth it” after all.

“I have friends with the same degree as me, from a worse school, but because of who they knew or when they happened to graduate, they’re in much better jobs,” said Kyle Bishop, 23, a 2009 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh who has spent the last two years waiting tables, delivering beer, working at a bookstore and entering data.

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Charles Koch Buys Right to Choose Economics Professors at Florida State University

Florida StateThis via the St. Petersburg Times:
A foundation bankrolled by Libertarian businessman Charles G. Koch has pledged $1.5 million for positions in Florida State University's economics department. In return, his representatives get to screen and sign off on any hires for a new program promoting "political economy and free enterprise." Traditionally, university donors have little official input into choosing the person who fills a chair they've funded. The power of university faculty and officials to choose professors without outside interference is considered a hallmark of academic freedom. Under the agreement with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, however, faculty only retain the illusion of control. The contract specifies that an advisory committee appointed by Koch decides which candidates should be considered. The foundation can also withdraw its funding if it's not happy with the faculty's choice or if the hires don't meet "objectives" set by Koch during annual evaluations.
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Students: You Are Exploited Debt-Serfs

LockeEducation1693Charles Hugh Smith writes on OfTwoMinds.com:

Students and parents, wake up: your only salvation lies in political engagement and action.

Of all the exploitative systems in the U.S., none is more rapacious than the Education Cartel. Like the proverbial frog that is unaware that it’s being boiled because the water temperature rises so gradually, college students and their parents are unable to recall what higher education was like before students were herded into debt-serfdom.

Apologists for the Education Cartel like to blame Corporate America or the banks, but the reality is that the Federal and State governments and the employees of the Cartel are willing partners in the exploitation and fraud. How did we get to the boiling-water point where students are expected to take on $100,000 or more in debt to attend college–even a mediocre one?

Answer: immensely profitable Government-backed loans. If the Central State wasn’t partnered with the Education Cartel, today’s debt-serfdom would be impossible.

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