Where the tuition goes: lazy river rides

This can’t be beat. Wait. Why do I say things like that? Of course the college industrial complex will find a way to spend even more on worthless extravagances. But at least we can retire the climbing walls as a goto reason for why the tuition is climbing through the roof.

Courtney Rubin at the NY Times reports on the new water parks and aquatic centers appearing at campuses around the country.

When Louisiana State University surveyed students in 2009 to find out what they most wanted in their new recreation complex, one feature beat out even massage therapy: a lazy river.

But with dozens of schools (including some of its Southeastern Conference rivals) building the water rides, the university had to do one better: When its lazy river is finished in 2016, it will spell out the letters “LSU” in the school’s signature Geaux font.

The photos are astounding! Kiss your tuition checks good bye.


Time for a break

I’m reaching a point in some difficult projects where I need to devote extra attention. So I’ll be posting rarely, if at all, for a while. Thanks to all of loyal readers for your comments and messages. The good news is that this is not a new topic anymore. Most of the press get the problem and there are others addressing it, some with the aggression it needs.


Corinthian Students Not Completely Screwed

Ashlee Kieler at the Consumerist looks into the problems confronting the students at one of the colleges under Corinthian umbrella, colleges that are all slated to die to save the student aid game.

It turns out that someone once wrote in a magic clause to the student aid bill that lets you walk away from your loans if the school closes. It doesn’t happen that often so no one is that versed in it but it could mean that everyone at Corinthian could magically walk away from their debt and dump it all on the back of Uncle Sam. Whoo hoo!

But if Corinthian is allowed to “teach out” their students, well, no dice.


Too Big To Fail Comes to the College Industrial Complex

San Francisco is filled with people who shook their fists at the way the government industrial complex coddled the banking industrial complex by bailing them out in the last collapse. And given the prevalence of banking hate in SF, I’m sure the faculty at the City College of San Francisco had plenty of choice, twenty-five cent words condemning the government’s action. Diverting attention by getting the people to hate the bankers is an easy trick around the schools.

As everyone is trying to get their heads around Corinthian College(s), comes the news that the accreditor are giving the CCSF even more time to do what they were told to do several years ago. Why? Well, everyone is realizing that killing the colleges could sort of be bad for the students who will be stuck with debt and no degree. And so we’ve got a combination of two powerful political rhetorical devices: Too Big to Fail and It’s For the Kids. So let’s just keep shoveling more money into the debt factory, okay? It’s for the kids.

Are they really better off with the school surviving? I’m not sure. A completed degree doesn’t make much difference at Starbucks. The ones who are headed there– and it’s got to be a big percentage– don’t gain much except more debt. Given the status of the CCSF in the hierarchy, I’m not sure if many would be better off without the debt.

For more, read Kevin Carey at the NY TImes.