Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Great American College Tuition Rip-Off

The Great American College Tuition Rip-Off, Paul Streitz, Oxford Institute Press, 2005

This book gives a very different view of the world of college tuition.

It's rare when any college's annual tuition increase is at or below the rate of inflation (usually they are far above the inflation rate). Colleges know that parents are a captive audience, that they will pay whatever the college decides.

A major culprit is the yearly college listing published by US News and World Report. Among the things they measure is college expenditures, so any thought of cutting spending is forbidden. Heads will roll at a college if it drops in the ratings. Is there any real difference in the quality of education between a Top Ten and a Top Fifty school?

Back at school, the academic requirement that professors must "publish or perish" needs to stop. Most academics will make no real contribution to their field, but they still require the latest in (very expensive) equipment to do their "research." If they do get published, it will be in some obscure journal that no one reads, and that exists only to publish papers. Professors should be hired to just teach.

A large number of clubs or other activities at a school shows that the academic part is not enough to hold a student's attention. Are parents shelling out tens of thousands of dollars a year so their children can get an education or be involved in the Chess Club or Drama Society? There are colleges that focus just on academics, and they are surviving quite nicely. When a wealthy benefactor gives money for a new library or sports building, is the gift enough to cover the entire cost of construction, or is it just enough to start construction, with the school, and the parents paying the rest of the cost?

The author also has nothing good to say about multiculturalism. All points of view, even those that hate America, are to be celebrated, while the achievements of white Americans are denigrated or marginalized. At Hamilton College, a private "elite" school in New York where the author spends most of the book, all of the fraternities were arbitrarily abolished, in the name of "diversity". A person from the outside was chosen to teach a course in the school's brand-new Gender Studies Center. This person just happened to have spent twenty years in prison as part of the Weather Underground. A public outcry forced the canceling of the teaching offer.

This is a very eye-opening book. Read it, and then look at your local college. You might be surprised at what you suddenly see in your own backyard.

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