Yes, it’s one of those recurring themes here. I was talking with a colleague yesterday; his daughter has gone through $92K at Yale in two years. I’m not sure if that’s the whole thing or what they had to fork over after financial aid. Not exactly a surprise, but… ouch! At Cortland, I’d say you’re looking at $15-16K/yr (approx $5,400 tuition, $5700 room, $3300 board, plus books and other fees), assuming your paying the whole load. Of course, nowadays they say the printed costs for a college are like the price sticker on a car lot: no one pays that.
I don’t know. My kids are 6 and 7. And god knows what this will costs in a decade. But that’s not exactly my point.
The Cortland GE program, basically like all the other SUNY schools and most other US colleges, is somewhere between 14-17 courses, depending on how much foreign language you need. So let’s say it’s easily three semesters of full time study. At Cortland, that’s a comparatively reasonable $22-24K. You can probably pay less at a community college, but we’re a good buy for a comprehensive college. In short, it’s only going up from there (and for those that are keeping track, I can expect to pay double that when my kids go unless something changes).
Like most faculty of my ilk, I teach my fair share of GE. I understand the value of GE in theory.
It’s just way too expensive! You could are that GE threatens the tenure system (doesn’t everything?). Because we can’t afford to have faculty deliver all this GE, we hire contingent faculty to do so. Even then, it’s still to expensive and getting more expensive all the time.
If you’re an academic parent with an elementary school kid, think about the following. You know your salary. Would you rather spend $120K to send your kid to the state university and have your kid spend three semesters sitting in classes with 50 or 100 or more peers listening to lectures, filling out test sheets or blue books (you know the drill.)? Or would you rather spend $75K and another $10-15K for your kid to take those GE classes online from home, maybe while still in HS?
Here’s the thing. We sent our daughter for one year to a Montessori school. Yes, it was better than the public school, but not $9K better. Is GE in a lecture hall going to be $30K better? You want to be able to pay for three semesters of GE or a year of grad school?
Yes, I’m assuming online courses will be cheaper. I’m assuming that by teaching students by the 1000s you’ll reduce costs. Faculty are giving lectures three hours a week. You’ve got prerecorded lectures and then a help desk with grad students or something. It’s honestly not that much different from sitting in a lecture hall.
Show me a different solution. No really. I’d like to hear one.