Are your kids going to a traditional, 4 year university?

The traditional education model has been outlined as the way one would think of school back in the 90s or early 2000s. A teacher sits in front of a class, lectures, gives homework, and then tests students of their knowledge retention. Higher educational institutions have been veering from this traditional structure by moving classes online and making the classroom more focused on problem solving than retention of facts. 

Since the typical idea of college, i.e. think traditional four year universities, is becoming outrageously expensive and alternatives are arising, can it sustain itself? Time Magazine conducted a study to forecast the change coming to higher education institutions. The focus of this study was to hone in on the costs and benefits of sending children to an institution. Parents were asked for the main reason the want their kids to go to college. Their answers were centric to the idea of wanting them to have a foundation of knowledge to enter the job market in their field of study. The value added from attending an institution was to provide a gateway to a career.

What was not so important, however, was the cultural immersion, diversity and collaboration only attending a physical location can provide. Many academics view college as four years of collaborative learning with the smartest people in an area – a place to make friends, life partners, a professional network etc… Though the students may find this valuable, those paying the tuition find this as merely a fringe benefit.

This being the case, the argument can be made that physical, brick & mortar universities may be a dwindling phenomenon. After all, how can you justify paying upwards of $200,000 for a four year experience when ridiculously cheaper options present themselves. 

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a game changer in the educational area. Khan Academy, Coursera,, and YouTube in general provide inexpensive, if not free, ways to become educated on just about anything you can think of. If a student can access the internet, they can attend top level college courses across the world and learn whatever they want. 

Going back to the Time Magazine piece, it’s not the collegiate experience parents are worried about, it’s the preparedness for the workforce. As of now, it is not feasible to obtain a certain certification from a MOOC and have it compare to a degree from a university. In the future, this may not be the case. When parents feel comfortable with a MOOCs’ ability to educate their children sufficiently for industry, they may tighten their purse strings and buy their kid a nice computer.

27 thoughts on “Are your kids going to a traditional, 4 year university?

  1. Jessica Thomulka

    I think that while it is important to acknowledge the growing field of massive open online course and their financial benefits, there are other factors that need to be considered when determining the value of education. It is known that certain institutions carry a pedigree associated with their name. Take the United State Supreme Court for example. Of the current nine justices, seven earned their law degrees from Harvard Law School and two from Yale Law School. I bet that if you ask the same parents if the $200,000 education was worth a justiceship on the Supreme Court of the United States, they would say yes. This also goes to show how the reputation of the institution you attend has an impact on your career. I am not certain, but I do not believe someone who graduates from YouTube University is going to be vetted for a Supreme Court justiceship.
    The example presented above is extreme and only reserved for 9 of the nation’s most gifted individuals. I think the idea of MOOCs are beneficial to society because they take the financial aspect out of education. This ensures equal access to education which is very important to innovation and success of a nation.
    Likewise I think it would be prudent for the legislature to enact regulations for these MOOCs to establish some sort of accreditation for these online institutions. Once the MOOCs become accredited then they may have the opportunity to earn a reputation for themselves as being a high-quality provided of academic material and training. Until they earn a reputation, however, I do not believe that the MOOCs can compete with “brick and mortar” institutions.
    An example where the MOOCs may have a better application is in technical areas where skills are learned for a trade. In this case MOOCs could potentially be substituted for a trade-school or junior college education, but again, if an employer values the name associated with an institution then MOOCs may not be cost-beneficial.
    I think MOOCs may have supplemental value to the tradition education structure. They may be used to alleviate some of the cost of summer or winter sessions which can ultimately alleviate the overall cost of education. MOOCs have the ability to be used as a tool as additional resources for traditional coursework.
    It may seem archaic to advocate for the “brick and mortar” model, but unless businesses and other employers put less emphasis on where you got degree from rather than the fact that you have a degree in a specific discipline, I do not see MOOCs eliminating physical institutions. If the goal of receiving a college education is to have the best career possible I would think an investment in an institution with a good reputation is worth the financial burden.
    While the blog piece makes the claim that the benefits of the “lifestyle” of attending a university at a physical location may not be significant enough to justify spending upwards of a quarter million dollars on a degree, I do think the experiences of attending a “brick and mortar” institution have an impact on education in a more general sense. For most people attending college is where you discover who you really are both socially as well as academically and I think is extremely important to the overall success of an individual.

  2. Zack G

    The traditional four year university will never be a thing of the past. Although many people have shown that college was not needed for them in their success. The most influential people today, a select few, have been college drop outs, or may not even have gone to college and decided to take the entrepreneurial root. Attending a 4 year university is and will always be a good idea, studies have shown those who went to college compared to those who only had a high school diploma made 1 million dollars more over their lifetime. Although online courses such as YouTube or khan academy are indeed great supplements for learning, nothing beats real in class experience. In addition many times, more often than before, the professors who are teaching the class you are in, have many years if not decades of experiences and knowledge under their belt that can help and impact an individual greatly. To add, some individuals learn better with a more hands on approach rather than visually watching a video or listening.
    Many may argue going to college may cost you an upward of 200,000 with no real guarantee of getting a job after graduation. I can approach this in many ways one, there are plenty of scholarship money to be given out and government aid all it takes is a little pursing and persistence. Next, I’ve always looked at college as an investment, also phrased as “it takes money to make money”. Last but not least, the opportunities, networking, personal and career development that arises from going to school is absolutely endless. Something my mom always told me, I’m sure plenty of others parents have told their kids. Which was, “Go to school get an education and be whatever you aspire to me, I want you to live a better life than me”. Which is the main point in college and why it will never fade, parents want their kids to go and be successful, live a better life than they did and leave a legacy to pass down to their kids and loved ones. College is in some way a filter for prospective employers to filter out the doers and the non-doers. If one was to think about it, without college and tests how would you really justify or see ones real potential in an individual, in my opinion I’d be quite hard. Unfortunately, with college becoming more and more expensive soon other ways of attaining knowledge or an education may be most suitable for many

  3. Mike Gavela

    Today and most likely for the next 3-5 years students will continue to go to college as a means of getting an education and ultimately getting a career. Although, I believe within the next 5-10 years we will begin to see more alternatives in undergraduate education. The current system for higher education can and will be disrupted by cheaper and higher valued alternatives. Reason being is not just the boom and availability of technology but just the sheer fact that universities have been established 100 plus years ago and the methods of teaching have not changed. The difference between a classroom today and one from a hundred years ago being that today we have blackboard and more STEM related courses. To get a major or concentration you only need 3-5 classes and this can be done in as little time as one semester. But universities require you to take years’ worth of prerequisite classes and liberal arts classes before you can take classes for your major. The problem with this method of, “getting an education” made more sense 30-40 years ago where the only way for someone to access this knowledge was by aimlessly digging around a library. In today’s age you can find information and learn virtually any topic online. Going beyond, Youtube, Coursera or Khan Academy, simply googling a topic or finding it on a Wikipedia page or lectured via a TED talk, the internet today offers a plethora of information and knowledge waiting to be accessed.

    It is no longer a university’s job to ensure we have a rounded education, that responsibility is now put onto the student because of the massive availability of this knowledge. It is now the responsibility of the university to teach students to refine and master skills that can only be obtained via in-person guidance or mentorship. That is the new value proposition of universities or what it would need to be in order to stay relevant and not get disrupted. If Seton Hall can offer a 5 year track to get an MBA, an alternative in higher education should be able to do the same in 2-3 years for half the cost.

  4. Jessica Page

    While I think Geoffrey poses a great question about the sustainability of a standard four year university, I have no doubt in my mind the typical physical university experience is not going anywhere. Online courses are growing in size and in matter, but I truly believe they lack a lot of the important aspects you learn inside a classroom. As Geoffrey states, it is obvious that parents do not see the collegiate experience as something that is important to their children’s education. And why should they? Most of them are spending large amounts of money to get their children through four or more years of learning. They don’t want to see their kids wasting their time and money, not attending classes and ultimately getting a nice social life for $50,000 a year.
    While this is true, I think the socialization, cultural diversity and collaboration are such an important part of the entire college experience and something you cannot gain by sitting behind a computer to finish your coursework. In a time where technology literally effects our everyday life, why would we want to only enhance it more by taking students away from the classroom interactions and instead make them listen to their lectures online and speak to students through comments on a discussion post. There are obviously so many pros and cons to each side, but being a college student myself, I can honestly say one of the best experiences for me has been finding friends, creating memories, and figuring out myself in the process.
    One question I pose to this article is how will a graduate from a four year university and a graduate of a MOOC program differ when it comes to applying and obtaining jobs? Who will have the upper hand, especially with MOOCs being so new. A student in a four year university has been taught to deal with different groups and situations, inside and outside the classroom. We are forced to do dreaded group projects and interact with people we may not necessarily know because one day, when we are in the workforce, we will have to do the same exact thing on a bigger scale. It is something we really need to think about moving forward. Also, accountability is going to be an issue. We have strict guidelines as students we are obligated to follow in terms of student conduct, particularly in regards to plagiarism and cheating. At this point in time, almost everything can be found with a simple Google search. What will stop students in online classes do this with exams, quizzes, etc.? How will they be held accountable for their actions? It is something to think about as this has become a serious issue already nationwide.
    That being said, I do believe MOOCs are going to shake up the traditional university world. Students don’t want to be in debt for the rest of their lives and parents don’t want their pockets stripped clean for just four years of “socialization”. I am hoping the universities begin to see this and do something about the astronomical prices we pay to attend school. There will come a point when students cannot afford it any longer. Once the universities lose students, what is there left?
    Although I don’t ever seeing them go away, I think Geoffrey did a great job in showing just how much MOOCs are shaking up the college scene. He makes a great argument and I think adding in the parent opinion really helps solidify the changing environment we have at hand.

  5. Ryan Stetz

    I just read another article about the traditional education model, and thought that this post was the natural next step. We have discussed the traditional education model in class, and how it has not really changed in the last few years. We still go to class to memorize information to pass a test. But what happens after middle school and high school in the future? What happens to four year universities? Are students still going to want to attend these universities 20 years from now?
    After learning about education a little bit more in class, it seems that the way Americans look at education changes every few years. In America today, high school is free for students. However, in the early 1900s, it was common for high schools to have examinations upon entrance, restricting fewer than five percent of the population in high school. People reformed the education system in the United States, and made it so students could attend high school and further their education. In the 1950s and 1960s, a high school diploma was able to get you a very good job, and could help you support a family.
    In the 1980s and 1990s, this idea changed. More and more people were going to college. With this trend, employers now wanted to see a majority of applicants have at least a college diploma. This made it difficult for people without a college degree to obtain a well-paying job, or one that could help them support a family. Every few decades, education changes and with those changes comes new requirements for the country’s workforce.
    In the United States today, the income gap between young college and high school grads has only widened, according to US News. Today’s high school graduated earn about sixty two percent of what their college-graduate peers earn. In 1965, this number was nearly eighty one percent. Paul Taylor, the executive vice president of special projects at the Pew Research Center says, “The driver of that widening is not so much that today’s college graduates are doing better than yesterday’s college graduates are doing; it’s that today’s high school-only graduates are doing worse than yesterday’s high school-only graduates.” He also states, “The real story is the collapse in economic opportunity for people who do not continue their education beyond high school.”
    While these numbers show that four year universities help young people make more money and further their career, the past shows that a college degree can become in the future what the high school diploma is today. With more and more people going to college, who is to say this can’t happen? I remember in high school, every single person asked each other, “Where are you going to college?” at the end of senior year. It wasn’t even a question of whether or not you were going or not. The only thing that can really stop the trend of going to college is the price, which is growing each and every day.
    Every other industry has been affected by disruption, so it is logical to think that education will be too. Although I do not believe four year universities will go away, there may be more affordable options provided or created for students. After these alternatives are created though, I do believe that there will be a fundamental change in the way employers hire candidates, just like there was in the 1980s and 1990s. Although universities are looked at to educate students, they also have the responsibility of helping mold a person into becoming a critical thinker and forming their own opinion. It will be interesting to see how this changes over the next few years and how people all over the country adapt to new forms of education.

  6. Jennifer Scari

    This article, written by Geoffrey Thomulka, immediately caught my attention. When the title of an article poses a question, if posed properly, it usually warrants a look into the article to see what it is all about. Considering this article was titled Are Your Kids Going to a Traditional, 4 Year University?, I was certainly drawn to this for the sole fact that I am currently attending a four year University. The article basically discusses whether or not it is really worth the cost of attending a four year University when there are several other options that provide similar services for a significantly reduced cost.
    This article actually references a study that was conducted through Time Magazine, which focused on what parents believed the costs and benefits are to sending a child to a four year University. The basic take aways from the study are that parents believe the main benefit of sending their children to four year Universities is to get the best type of education that will in turn prepare them for their future field of work. Although many academics believe that going to a four year University provide many additional benefits, such as making friends, and networking. The parents do not look at this as a crucial aspect of education and believe their children can do without this. This was the belief of the parents that took the survey; however, I do not believe that all parents would agree with this. Many parents, mine included, are more likely to side with the view of the academics and find that there are certainly more benefits to attending a four year University, other than just the educational aspect.
    When it comes to being able to find a job in the field that a student was educated in over the course of four years, it has become increasingly more difficult. Many jobs are not given to someone solely based on the education he or she received in college. Instead, many people are able to get into a career now through networking. What better way to network than through the alumni of the four year University you attended? In addition to this, throughout the four years at a University, many students will join organizations and clubs. This not only helps with collaboration skills and people skills, but it also helps networking. For example, I am in a sorority at my University now, my sisters that are now alumnae of this school have enabled me to get my foot in the door at internships and jobs. This type of networking would not be able to be done through an online college. Although using online classes would be a lot cheaper, in the long run it would be worth the cost to ensure that the education, skills, and networking abilities can better ensure that a job will be waiting for you at the end of those four years.
    Although I do not totally agree with the results from the study, I felt that this article was very thought-provoking. It was well written and the hyperlinks made his points very credible. The article provided a view on attending a four year University that differed from my personal beliefs; therefore, it was appealing to read how others may view the benefits and costs of attending a four year University.

  7. Lauren Gutowski

    This relates back to a past post I left a comment on which talked about the increasing presence of online classes offered for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Now a risen question is whether our children will even be attending a four year school like we did. I believe it will still take 4 years to obtain a degree but classes will be taken online instead, maybe even the colleges will be solely online as well. The first thing to really stick out to me is the last sentence of this post: “making the classroom more focused on problem solving than retention of facts.” I am really not a fan of sitting in a desk and listening to professors lecture about material we’ll most likely forget down the line. You can sit in a classroom all you want but it does not make you any smarter than the guy who does not have his degree but works in a career of his desire. What is college for anyway? It is to get your first job, really. And then a sum 10 years down the line, employers could give less of a hoot about what you did in college. Just like how it does not matter what we did in high school our senior year of college. I’m not trying to downsize higher education, I’m just saying there is room to benefit and prepare us more for the working world WHILE being more cost effective. If less than $100,000 can be spent getting the same degree as brick & mortar universities, then online classes should be a no brainer.

    Full time students spend most of their college days in the classroom. Tack on commuting time for students who have their own apartment or live at home with their parents. Let’s be real, school is very time consuming. Online classes could decrease the opportunity cost greatly, essentially giving students more time to pursue internships and receive more hands on experience. We could learn just as much online as in the classroom. Some could make the argument of physically going to the institutional deprives you from life partners, networking and a place to make friends; I beg to differ. Yes, it does help but college is not the only means of building a useful network. You would probably benefit more from getting out into the real world as soon as possible and meeting people along the way there. You naturally meet and network with people in your career interests. Some of the greatest friends I’ve made are through work. The guy who invented the unexplainable fad in the 70s, PetRocks, came up with that idea with his buddies drinking at the bar. I see college as a good networking environment, but with great expenses. Successful networking could be done out of college but just yet your wallet less. Hopefully colleges will utilize online classes even more than they already started to. Whatever the way, we all deserve to receive a valuable education and if I could obtain that online for a lesser cost, then I am all for it.

  8. Alex Vovk

    In his recent blog post “Are your kids going to a traditional, 4 year university?” on DT&L Blog (, Geoffrey Thomulka, SHU Class of 2017, who writes bi-weekly articles for the money and investing section of Seton Hall’s business school’s newspaper, The Stillman Exchange, discusses a growing trend in academia that shifts education from the traditional brick-and-mortar model to online. With the increasing emphasis on the benefits of attending college and getting a degree at a very high financial cost, online education is emerging as a very viable and cost-effective alternative.

    How can you go wrong taking courses from the leading institutions like Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, MIT, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Sorbonne, to name just a few from a long list offered by edX (, as one example of many MOOCs, whose mission is to increase global access to quality education? From my personal experience, when I was taking college Math classes and needed extra help, I took several lessons from the Khan Academy website ( The instructor presented difficult concepts in a way that made them very easy to understand, and followed with many examples to ensure the audience was proficient in the presented topic. I would highly recommend this site to anyone who needs help in Math or any other subject Khan Academy offers. Many professors at Seton Hall have already embraced technology in a big way and started making their lectures and other instructional material available online. I have taken courses in Accounting and Computers at SHU where professors made their lectures for the entire semester available through either Blackboard portal or on YouTube. Online courses are great resources that complement traditional instruction. I believe professors will rely more and more on technology to enhance their lessons and facilitate access to their classes.

    It is hard to argue, especially from the point of view of many parents who help pay their children’s college tuitions, that the benefits of receiving an education that can be obtained from various online sources, provided they are legitimate, approved, and accredited, far outweigh the costs. From their perspective, the prospect of getting the same, if not better, instruction from online classes at a fraction of a cost compared with the traditional model, would provide students with the degree and marketable skills necessary to successfully compete in the workforce. With this model, the students will not be graduating college saddled with crushing student loan debts for the next decade or mode. At a high level, this may be so. However, with this certainly sensible economic approach, the students will miss out on some very valuable benefits of attending a traditional four year college – interaction with their professors and fellow students, involvement in their schools’ cultural, athletic, and social groups and activities, exposure to diverse cultures and ideas, making lasting friendships, professional networking, to name just a few.

    Tuition cost is a very important factor, if not the most important, in making a decision of which college to attend. To minimize the debt and loans we had to take out, my siblings and I went to a community college for two years before transferring to our four year schools. Many of my friends did the same. Even though we wanted to go away to college for four years, experience independence of living in a dorm or off-campus housing and everything that comes under the umbrella term of “college life”, we had to make a practical choice when the costs were considered.

    Colleges should realize that change is inevitable, that the traditional model and the associated costs are unsustainable. Many leading European institutions of higher education, in the effort to attract American students started offering free or reduced tuition. American colleges and universities must make a real effort to make college affordable for everyone or risk being overlooked in favor of schools abroad or online alternatives.

  9. Michael MacRae

    This post detailing online college courses being a viable alternative to traditional collegiate environments makes an interesting claim in doing so. While I cannot say I agree with the claim that college courses can be taught online to the same effect as in-person, the author of this post makes good points. With parents in mind, college seems to be a very cut-and-dry thing. Students attend college to get their degree and that is it. To a student, however, attending college is about maturing, growing up, meeting people, making connections, having fun, and learning. The two sides to the college viewpoint are so different it is difficult to compare them. Any parent nice enough to pay for their child’s education would surely be reasonable enough to make their child’s time meaningful.

    Online courses may satisfy a monetary benefit upfront, but in my experiences with counselors and employers – online degrees mean nothing. There is no regulation to their management, what’s to stop me from just looking up the answers on an online test? They are also difficult to take if it means using the internet for hours on end each day. It takes a toll on stress levels. This could all be changing, however, as I am not an online student and will likely never be. It could be that they become more regulated and worthwhile to the consumer – but with regulation comes more money. While this post aims to address the economic stability of large, four-year institutions, it is possible that they will remain stable as online courses become more and more expensive.

    The post does address my concerns in its concluding paragraph: the certifications from an online course are not comparable to a university certification. I believe that universities will continue to remain the norm for most students as the push for student subsidies rises in the United States. They will eventually be more affordable and accessible as their costs are subsidized by the government.

  10. Isabel Goodman

    The lecture style classroom has been the traditional model of schooling for over a century. While it is still prevalent, universities have been trying to revamp their image in order to compete with the online universities that are drawing more people in every year. The reason this is happening, as the blog post says, is because of the increasing cost of traditional universities and the desire for a degree rather than the experience. While I understand the cost factor, I do not believe the online university route is the way to go. While traditional 4-year universities are expensive, they cannot be replaced. When you go to a traditional university, you are getting so much more than just a degree. In the post it said some parents consider making friends and cultural immersion to be just a benefit, but in reality, those are two of the most important skills you learn while in higher education. Anyone can get a degree if they work hard, but those who have the ability to interact with people and develop their interpersonal skills will succeed even more due to their ability to relate to others and understand them. Online universities may eliminate some cost, but what is that cost worth in the long run? When people lack interpersonal skills they lack empathy and communication, which are key skills when entering into the work force. These skills are irreplaceable and because of that, I am an advocate for traditional universities. That is not saying that I am an opponent of online classes. I believe those can be extremely beneficial in certain subject areas when mixed with a healthy dose of traditional classes. Especially because now classrooms are incorporating problem solving skills into their curriculum instead of just having the typical lecture-style class. When practicing problem-solving skills in a classroom, it teaches the students how to work together and strive for a common goal in a non-consequential environment. This gives students a chance to develop their skills without facing problems that the real world would pose. Once these skills are developed, they will have an advantage once it comes time for graduation. I think this is a very smart move on the universities’ part because it gives the students much more than the typical memorization and recitation of fact in order to pass a test. That is how high school worked. The success of the school was built entirely on the students’ performance on standardized tests and there is not much more than that. There was no motivation for the schools to teach anything other that memorization, because that is what benefits them. That is not the case in college and universities are recognizing this. Standardized tests are not what the university is judged upon and now they are focusing on preparing students for the outside world. Online schools, like high schools, are not preparing students for this. They are giving them a degree and that is it. No interpersonal communication skills, no cultural immersion, and certainly no problem solving skills. That is why I say the 4-year university will not die. There is nothing that can give the students as much as a traditional institution, especially when they are implementing real world experience along with career placement.

  11. Eric A Novembre

    Going to Seton hall is an experience that will not be forgotten, but I question myself on a daily basis on whether it is worth all the money it presents itself to be. I am lucky enough that I do not have to pay for my education myself, but is any school worth over 40,000 a year? It proven now that in some cases it is pointless to go college if your debt in loans are over 100,000 plus interest. Now people are finding new ways that educate them as much as a college professor, but for free. It’s called the internet. “Since the typical idea of college, i.e. think traditional four year universities, is becoming outrageously expensive and alternatives are arising, can it sustain itself? Time Magazine conducted a study to forecast the change coming to higher education institutions. The focus of this study was to hone in on the costs and benefits of sending children to an institution. Parents were asked for the main reason the want their kids to go to college. Their answers were centric to the idea of wanting them to have a foundation of knowledge to enter the job market in their field of study. The value added from attending an institution was to provide a gateway to a career”. Most Parents generally believe that there children must go to college and get an education. That they need to mature and figure out what they want to do in life. If I did not attend college, I would have to say my parents would have disowned me in that aspect. Education is everything to them, in which I do not disagree. But I can see how people generally believe that there is the point in going to college if you are going to have loans for life.
    “Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a game changer in the educational area. Khan Academy, Coursera,, and YouTube in general provide inexpensive, if not free, ways to become educated on just about anything you can think of. If a student can access the internet, they can attend top level college courses across the world and learn whatever they want.” These online course are half the price of the average college tuition. Why spend the money on a university if you can get the same education for less at online. I think it seems reasonable. But then comes the argument of not getting the real world experience, not interacting with others like you do in a college classroom. Or speak with advisors to help guide your way to success. I would say this is an ongoing study for people to figure out, colleges and universities need to be cheaper, the prices now are overbearing. Financial aid is not enough in most cases. So can you argue the fact of people finding other ways to become educated? I can’t. If leaders of this world want their countries to strive they need to find ways to help education become free not an expense.
    Thomulka, Geoffrey. “Are Your Kids Going to a Traditional, 4 Year University?” DTL Blog. N.p., 02 Nov. 2015. Web. 09 Dec. 2015. .

  12. Allison Yashay

    College has been an amazing learning experience for me. Choosing Seton Hall was one of the best decisions of my life. But there are times where I feel like this is such a huge expense for my parent. But my education is important to them and me. The article is interesting how it analyzing the shift from traditional teaching and learning to a more technologically advanced approach. The idea of attending college online is not a new concept. The University of Phoenix has been doing it for quite some time, but I don’t see Seton Hall becoming a total online based school. Not everyone can learn from sitting in front of a computer. I personally need to go to a classroom and learn from a professor who is standing in front of me. I need a hard copy of a text book. Staring at a screen for hours at a time is something I just do not want to do.
    While I agree with colleges becoming “outrageously expensive,” I think the college experience both socially and educationally is very important for a student. Friendships are made, careers enhanced, and even connections are made in college. I don’t agree that these are “merely a fringe benefit.” A career and networking are crucial for anyone who wishes to make a good amount of money, and something of themselves. Friendships and relationships are lasting and provide the support people need. These things enhance our learning experiences. We learn from the people around us. We have conversations with people face to face. If a student has an issue in a class or simply wishes to talk to a professor they can do so during their office hours. Technology is wonderful, but it can’t take away the basics.
    The article references sources such as “Khan Academy, Coursera,, and YouTube” as inexpensive ways to “become educated on just about anything you can think of.” The example was made that “if a student can access the internet, they can attend top level college courses across the world and learn whatever they want.” I don’t necessarily agree. While I have used these sources multiple times throughout my educational career, I use them to enhance or to better understand the material I learned from my classes. I don’t watch these educational videos to get ahead in my classes. I need to visually see it in person, then go home do the homework, and if I still don’t understand use one of these websites.
    I don’t see brick and mortar schools disappearing anytime soon. I think I will never happen, I for one hope it doesn’t. I value my education at Seton Hall. I came to a university that valued education, and I sure am happy I did.

  13. Darren Williams

    When I think of school, I think of exactly how Geoffery described it. A teacher stands in front of the class and presents the material, then we have homework and quizzes on the material to ensure that we retained the information before taking an exam. Seeing that we are 90’s babies that is exactly what we are used to and quite frankly, it has never really hit me home unhelpful and unproductive that is until right now. If you asked me questions about things I remember from elementary and middle school sure I could rattle off a few facts here and there. I know a bit of history and some basic science, but what about the stuff that is actually going to help me in reaching my full potential at my future endeavors? I know some basic math so yes they taught that successfully, but what about things like investing and communicating with people. Sure investing isn’t really something you teach a kid on a deep level but you get the idea. Rather than truly engaging the kids and finding subjects interesting, teaching methods just make kids despise school and stress for no reason to ensure they do well. However, at that age they shouldn’t be stressed, they should be enjoying their time and having fun but learning essential skills along the way. Now I am by NO means saying that we should be stressed because we all know how finals week has us all feeling right about now, but going to college is a valuable experience in of itself more so than just going to the classes to see how much information you can memorize for the exams. College is a time to interact with new types of people, try new things, and go new places. Sure you can go and take courses online or just access the same information off of Google at this point, but people who take that route lose out on all of the experiences. Teachers who have us look into current events and articulate about our perspectives are preparing us more for our futures than teachers who give us information and having us regurgitate it back. Finding the information on our own allows us to find things that interest us. Like I said earlier, sure that is something that anyone can do, just a simple Google search. However, going to class and having the teacher ask us more questions about those things make us dive a bit deeper to another level of that subject that on our own we probably wouldn’t reach. Thus allowing us to completely comprehend the information and have full blown conversations about that topic with someone who may know the topic just as well if not better or even not at all. Rather kids sit at dinner tables each night and their parents ask what they learned that day and their response be “nothing” or a simple equation that they themselves have no interest in at all, no passion. So as college evolves so will the learning and improvement of the students. Yes, college keeps getting more expensive, which in some circumstances is unfortunate, but with increasing methods of learning the experience becomes more valuable.

  14. Stephen Gallic

    Upon reading Geoffrey’s post, his conclusion struck me the most. “It’s not the collegiate experience parents are worried about, it’s the preparedness for the workforce. As of now, it is not feasible to obtain a certain certification from a MOOC and have it compare to a degree from a university.” Geoffrey is making a valid argument that I could not agree with more. As of now, the education system and colleges are making boatloads of money off their incomprehensible tuition costs. Therefore, they are doing the best they can to deter the transition over to MOOC and remain at the forefront for education. Another important aspect Geoffrey pointed out was the reason why we attend college. I personally despise going to college and being a commuter does not help with the experience. But, every time I discuss leaving or dropping out for a year my parents think I am crazy and tell me that I must continue if I wish to have a successful job later in life. Now, I will give credit where it is due and I commend Seton Hall on their networking capabilities and overall handling of their students, but I am certain that in non-private universities and state colleges the same cannot be said. By attending college you are paying for classes and a place to live and eat, if you do not commute. But what you are truly paying for is the piece of paper at the end of four years that will allow you to gain access to high-level entry jobs others who did not attend college cannot obtain. This in itself is a skewed view and system and inherently deters the American Dream. More and more the system is taking over and if we wish to succeed in the system it is necessary that we buy into it and participate. If we choose not to then we are doomed for a life of struggle and conflict. Now, I know many cases can be made for people who have worked their way up the ladder or that are the essence of the American dream but the chances of accomplishing this grow slimmer and slimmer. I do not believe a job or position should be exclusive to those who qualify and paid their way through college for it. Turning a blind eye to those who either could not afford it or did not choose to go to college inherently hinders the job market. I can attest that my work ethic is far superior to many kids that I have worked with and that I know. But, because of my lack of will to go through with college my work ethic towards my work is lacking. If I was given the opportunity to prove my worth and was taught my position in a business I know for a fact that I would be able to out work and outperform many of my co-workers because I would be driven and my future would depend on it. Running me through a four year college only makes me conform to everyone’s standards and forces me to do what others want of me rather than what I want. End rant.

  15. Themba Lungu

    This article by Geoffrey Thomulka discusses a very relevant issue in America. The model of success is rooted in education. Many are led to believe that without a higher education success on a monetary level is not plausible. However, this higher education is not accessible to all because of the expenses. University costs are extremely expensive. It follows the mantra “spend money, to make money”. In the study conducted by Time Magazine, parents were asked for the main reason they wanted their kids to go to college. The main reason was to gain knowledge in their field of study to enter the job market. This is a very good reason as knowledge is important, but what is even more important is where you get this knowledge from. It is evident that some universities carry more pedigree and prestige associated with their name. The article elaborates on MOOCs, massive open online course, such as Khan Academy, Coursera, and even YouTube. I have personally used Khan Academy as a source of intelligence to assist me in my studies and it is brilliant. The diversity of subjects they cover and the intricacy of the course knowledge that is provided rival some of the professors in the respective courses. In addition, the costs from such knowledge is free; an easy app to download just like you would with any social media. However, one cannot study from Khan Academy and site is as a reasonable education source on a job application.
    As a recipient of college education, I can say that the most important things that you can gain is not the knowledge you acquire. If you are committed to expanding your horizons and intelligence you can do so on your own. There is a vast amount of knowledge in the world and variety of means to obtain this knowledge. I believe the most important things you can gain from a college education is the connections and opportunities that are presented to you. For example, the career center at Seton Hall is designated to help students find internships in their field. This is very important as it starts to fill your resume. Jobs are not only looking for people with degrees but also with prior experiences in their field of work.

  16. Ryan Jolluck

    I have always liked the European style of education. The Netherlands as an example creates and provides different levels of education based on the student’s abilities and performance. Higher education is not encouraged for all students. Vocational training and schooling is given to those that do not seek university, and they get into the workforce faster. At the age of 16, those who have achieved the vocational training and degree VMBO enter the job market compared to someone that attended university and finished around 21 or 22 with a bachelors or masters. The US seems to encourage a culture of requiring their children attain a 4 year institution. These universities often have “Out-of-control tuition increases have been the stuff of parents’ nightmares and media headlines for years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs it at a 1200% increase since 1978, far higher than health care’s 634% rise, or the Consumer Price Index’s 279% increase over the same period. Most middle class families are ineligible for the government’s scholarship programs – Pell grants almost never go to kids whose parents earn more than $60,000. And colleges’ own financial aid programs typically don’t kick in until the family puts up the first monies known as the “Expected Family Contribution,” an amount dictated by a Congressional formula that most observers recognize as unrealistically high. For example, the EFC for a family of four earning $100,000 and with $50,000 in assets and just one child about to go off to college is expected to contribute the first $20,000 of the school costs—every year”. Even with spending a lot of money on college, it is still no guarantee that you can get a job. Really the main point of a university today seems to be just paying for your degree rather than an education.

  17. Rushil Gandhi

    This article by Geoffrey Thomulka discusses a very prevalent issue in the modern American society. The cost of attending brick and mortar universities is skyrocketing, yet the value of much cheaper and more effective online alternatives is next to nothing. This problem seems to be stemming from the idea that people of the 1990s and 2000s still believe in the idea that children must have a core set of academics instilled in them before they enter the work force. According to the author, these people believe that these academics can only be instilled by having a professor behind a desk lecturing, assigning homework and handing out examinations. The author, like me, seems to believe that this is a case of simple retention of facts that does not help the individual out in the workforce where they are faced with problem solving and various communicative situations. In addition, having a society where everyone believes that a college education is the only way one can earn a decent living also does not help the case of non-traditional teaching methods like those found in MOOCs or massive open online courses. A great example of this non-traditional teaching is Professor Shannon’s class that I am doing this assignment for. He simply does not accept individuals regurgitating facts, he expects student to learn and apply and solve problems. The brilliant part about it is that even if one struggles to do this, he is there to help them through the process and prepare them for the real world. Subsequently, according to a Time magazine survey found in the article, today’s parents seem to value the knowledge in the field of study as the most important aspect they gain from paying the astronomical fees of college. However, the most important part of a college education in my opinion is the networking connections one makes and the mentality they develop while working their way independently throughout their college years. Getting that next internship is just as important getting an A in class. Employers in today’s society are not only looking for individuals with degrees but they are also looking for individuals with experience and the drive to succeed. I believe that these traits are best instilled in one through their college years by the people they meet and associate themselves with. Ultimately, the greatest benefits of attending college are the things today’s parents see as fringe benefits. These things include a good group of friends, professors and associates and an active social life.

  18. Kaitlyn McCluskey

    When I first saw the title of this post before even reading the article, asking the question if my kids are going to a traditional 4 year university, I first thought “obviously they are going to a 4 year college”. Not expecting the post to actually be referring to the future generations physically attending a traditional 4 year university. I feel mixed emotions about thinking about the future of education. There have been so many articles that I have read this semester that have raised the ideas about the innovations that are taking over jobs that are so normal to us. I wrote in all those comments that I do believe technology is going to take over a lot of our everyday lives…it already has and I know that it will continue to.
    I think that some things make sense to be replaced by technology. Especially jobs that are unsafe for people or would be more efficient for the environment. Something that I actually feel kind of strongly about is jobs being replaced by technology that are going to make a negative impact on society. And something like universities possibly being replaced by the internet just does not sit right with me.
    I feel like there are some experiences that build a person. Not saying that everyone has to go to college to be a certain way but honestly if school was purely online…I do think that society’s social skills would be heavily impacted. I have never met someone who was homeschooled for a while but I do know that it obviously affects a persons’ social skills when they go from being, for a lack of better words, sheltered to being put out in a social environment. I think that this is exactly what would happen if college was physically nonexistent anymore.
    I actually think that it would not turn out well at all. People go to college to not only gain more knowledge but to also gain experience…including social experience. I am not talking about partying or any of the other nonacademic socializing that goes on. I am talking about the classroom social aspect of college. In a lot of classes in college, there are a lot of hands on activities that we take part in. These experiences build a person and make them ready for the real world. I think that if I was purely taking online courses then graduated…regardless of my education…I would feel really intimidated going into the real world and having to interact with people about everything that I just learned about online. It’s like if learning how to drive was purely on the computer and then you take a test and get your license and are expected to go out on the road with other experienced people…how can you be expected to operate normally? Moral of the story, I don’t think I agree with the possibility of technology taking physical schooling away…I am a firm believer that it is good for people who are learning. Regardless of people’s study/learning habits…it would be life changing to not have the option of physically attending school.

  19. Justin Scherzo

    This article really made me think about the traditional model of education. Grades are based so much off of how much you can memorize. It really does not show how smart a person nor does it project how well a person will do in the real world. While reading this I though back on a funny line in the song Kodachrome that goes, “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder that I can think at all.” Paul Simon might have hit the nail right on the head in these few lines. Society stresses so much on going to school and getting good grades to show that you are smart, but now I have realized that this is not truly what the real world is about.
    This article raises the question, can traditional four year universities sustain itself? He raises the point that these types of universities have become so expensive that the average person cannot afford to attend these schools without some kind of loan or financial aid. He also points out the fact that people are attending college because they want to have a background knowledge on the field that they plan to work in. I think a point that he is missing, is the fact that people go to college because they want to make money. Now a days it is almost impossible to get a well-paying job without attending college and getting a degree. One of the major problems is that it is very hard for most 18 year old people to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. While it is not impossible to get a job in a field that you did not study during college, one of the points of college is to attain some knowledge on the field that you plan to enter into.
    He goes on to say that people did not say they are attending college to gain life skills like independence, time management, and cultural diversity. These are some crucial things that you learn during college. While my parents tried to prepare me the best they could for the real world, there will always be things that you learn on your own. I have learned so much from attending college and having a job that will benefit me when I go out into the real world.
    He continues to say that the traditional college experience may be a dwindling phenomenon. Massive open online courses may be a game changer in the education experience. Sites such as Khan Academy, YouTube, and Coursera may be replacing some forms of a higher education. These usually provide free or an inexpensive way to become educated, and all you need to access these sites is the internet.
    I have used these sites in the past to clarify information taught in certain classes. They usually do a very good job of getting the main points of the lesson across in a way that is easier to understand. In my experience throughout school, there are teachers that spit information out at you and expect you to understand and there are teachers who actually teach the material. I feel that these websites are geared towards people who need the information taught to them. In the future these websites could be very beneficial to the learning experience but will never be able to replace the life experience that you get by attending a traditional college.

  20. Daniel Cooper

    This title had me thinking about what is traditional at school. The life of the students in America we are used to sitting in a classroom trying to understand all of the facts and events in a subject. That learning process is made for the students with the best ability to remember the facts. Growing up and growing through the education system, I realized that the most important of school was just knowing facts. As I started to grow up the system started to go towards the problem solving. This changed started to happen in my math courses that I took in high school. My parents told me that I would be growing to college for at least I can remember. College is a need for the public now. Many people may not agree with this. The world is changing now. With the advance in technology, anyone can take any job. While the some European countries have free college education. These countries realize that people are competing against the world not just others in their countries. If any parent ask for the main reason for the need for college education there it is. There is one problem with the issue of the need for a college education the cost. The cost for college is increasing and people are not able to afford the large cost of the education. It is sad that the United States government are unwilling to help the general public to pay for the education. There are many websites that help the spread the education to the public. It is starts targeting younger than 4. There are plenty of apps available to help people do things. There are websites like YouTube. This is a bunch of free videos on anything you can think of. These are not going to get you a college degree but it is very helpful to find extra help. I used it when I took Anatomy. This help me learn more tricks to the bones in the body. College is here to prepare to us for the future. I believe this course is helping me prepare for the future because this not a course for the student who wants to sit around and learn the facts. This course has prepared us as students to be able to read something and interpret it to the world around us. The cases that I studied in course, we talk about the facts but it is more about how the case relates to the others that we learned. If people want to use the Massive open online courses, I believe it will not help them succeed further down the line. Having a professor in the classroom, helps the students connect to others. This course cannot be an online course since it is mainly a discussion course. Being the classroom teaches the students how to debate with a student with respect. While the online course the students, they have the ability to hide behind a computer. In the workplace, the workers have to talk with the other employees face to face. The MOOC will never have the ability to have the students together in the same room. This is a helpful tool for students to learn something they are not picking up in class. The college is a need but the price needs to go down.

  21. Jason Salazar

    When I think of education it is exactly how Geoffrey said it, a teacher sits in front of a class, lectures, gives homework, and tests the students of their knowledge retention. Geoffrey talks about 4 Year Universities. I did not think it was going to talk about the web option of an education. First, I do plan on hopefully sending my kids to a four year university. For me it is just something that will benefit them in the future. While I do not know what they would want to do in the future, I am sure they must be educated about it first. Geoffrey talks about how college is becoming too expensive for people to attend. A study was done where they asked, what was the main reason they want their kids to go to college? They answered they wanted them to have knowledge about the job market they would enter in their field of study. Many colleges are viewed as a place to make new friends, experience a new way of living and make professional network. There are some colleges where you might need to end up paying around $200,000. I’ll admit there are other colleges who can offer the same of education for much cheaper. Sometimes it is not just about the education but the name of the college as well. If it is a known college, they will most likely charge you much more in tuition. He then starts talking about Massive open online courses, which he believes are game changers in the education area. He said YouTube is a free way to become educated on anything. If people have access to the internet they can attend top level college courses across the world. A Certification from a MOOC cannot be compared to a degree from a university. In the future it should always be like this. I believe you cannot compare an online form of education to education in person. College is made to get people out there and discover new things. People who dorm have a way of experiencing life on their own for some time. It gives them a taste of reality. They to do everything on their own and will know what it feels like. They also have a great time to be social and meet new people. There are many clubs they can join and even fraternities. If you do take classes online, they will never get the social skills one will get if they attend a college. Plus there are classes that are need to take such as Communication class, which would be hard to do online. When you graduate with a degree from college the people who will hire you looks into that, with a certificate from a MOOC, I do not believe you will have nearly the same chance as a college graduate. You cannot replace college education just like that with online courses. It should not be done. Sure it might save you some money but in the long run it will not make you better off. Jobs will not be the same because learning online and learning in a class is different. The future should not have us stand behind a computer taking classes. Future students should be learning the right way for a better job in the future.

  22. Joselito Abarca

    I am a firm believer that a traditional four year university is the correct path to anyone who wants to excel in life and become a professional, unless you have an idea for an innovation that will revolutionize society such as being the next Google or Apple. Going to college is a major investment that if utilized well has benefits. Massive open online courses such as Khan Academy, Coursera, and YouTube are going rapidly and are providing an expensive way to get educated on about anything. For example, students can learn from a top university through Coursera. However, it does not offer the same value as a traditional four year university degree. Many people do not learn as well online as they do in a classroom. I am one of those people This article talks about how parents reluctant to send their children to a four year institution because of the price. College is a major investment. A few years ago, students who had good grades were obtaining the jobs. Know a days, in order to land a position, it can only be done through networking. For example, these massive investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and etc receive thousands of applications every year for internships. They are extremely competitive, however, if you know someone who works there, your chances of landing an interview are higher. Going to a traditional four year university allows students to network with professionals through networking events held by the school and other social festivities. Online courses do not offer you these opportunities. Another setback of online courses is that it will restrict students from utilizing their interpersonal skills which can be detrimental in the long run as most jobs requires individuals who possess this skill. In fields such as finance, individuals are constantly talking to clients and giving presentations. I think problem solving is important in the classroom and Professor Shannon emphasizes this in his class. He constantly tells us that we got into college because we were taught to memorize information, however, that is not applicable in the real world.. Through college individuals encounter new ideas and challenges. Students are able to find their passion by taking a wide variety of courses, joining extracurricular clubs and making friendships that will last forever. So far my time at Seton Hall has been great. The school is expensive but I have received a great education from top notch professors, gain experience in the markets by being part of the student managed investment fund, I joined Alpha, the Hall Street Fund met other business majors and having the opportunity to network with many professionals from various corporations. I believe College prepares students to become integral members of society. I also believe that these online courses are great because they can help students learn if they are struggling in a course and need extra assistance or if one wants to educate themselves on a different subject. No one should solely rely on these online courses to land a job. A traditional four year education will never go away in my opinion. Experiences gained in the university allows students to grow emotionally and intellectually.

  23. Joseph Padula

    The question brought to the reader’s attention by Geoffrey Thomulka was when I am older will I encourage my children to go to a traditional, four year college. This question really resonated with me due to the fact that, at first I did not believe that a traditional, four year college would be beneficial for me, especially because of the outrageous prices of universities in this day and age. My reasoning for this assumption was that everyone who goes to college, or so I thought has the mindset of partying for four years, taking classes that don’t matter in the real world, and starting your adulthood out with over 250 thousand dollars in debt in student loans. The only thing that made me go to college was that fact that without that small piece of paper, a diploma, saying I graduated from a respectable college it was going to be the only way for me to get a well-paying job and set me up for the rest of my professional career. This was not 100 percent wrong either due to the fact that college graduates are priority in most companies over non-college graduates. I am not trying to degrade blue collar workers, coming from a blue collar family myself, I am just explaining the reality we live in as 20 somethings in 2016.

    Although this was my mindset going into college, the one thing that changed my perspective completely, was the Honors Leadership Development Program I am in at Seton Hall University. This program showed me anyone can go to college and squeeze by semester after semester and retain nothing upon graduation. The difference between those individuals and the successful college graduates is what they did at college. Not that they did not go out or have fun or anything like that but they took advantage of the programs and guidance their university provided them. One of the best things about college is that it is a great networking opportunity for everyone since there are students from all corners of the Earth all at one place and time. This program taught me to take every class with a grain of salt and get the most out of each opportunity given to me. This mentality and work ethic will almost guarantee a job position out of college, the one thing every college student has in the back of their mind. To be an example of this, I interned with Johnson & Johnson last summer as a freshman in college, one of the youngest interns there. This was solely because I took advantage of the opportunities around me.

    In terms of sending my children to a traditional, four year college, the only reason I would do this is so they would be able to have these numerous opportunities. Something online classes cannot provide since there is no face to face interaction or in person networking ability. Being on a four year college campus gives you a conversation starter with everyone you see by simply asking ‘why are you here’ or ‘ what made you come here.’ These chances are once in a life time and I think online courses takes that away from an individual. Additionally, online course are good to obtain an education at the fraction of the price but not everything is about the grade you receive in school. After your first job your GPA and all that hard work gets kicked to the curb. These are the reasons why I would encourage my children to go to a four year university as long as they are a part of the program and the experience I had.

  24. Cliff Nash

    The cost of schooling in the United States is extremely expensive and that is no secret. Each year new kids enroll and the tuition gets paid, the universities continue to make money off of these new students and continue, in some cases, to raise the price of their school causing them to make more money and feel that they can get away with the increasing of the price. With the increase in the number of online classes being offered and the fact that there is so much money being saved, these online classes can easily be a very good alternate to attending a four year college in the future. The only issue is that some of the alternatives that are mentioned in the article to gather information and are not taken as seriously as a degree from a college with a four year degree program. The alternates offered in this article were courses shown through YouTube, Khan Academy, Coursera, and, although these are all very good sources of information for people they are not seen as serious alternatives to a degree from a college or university.
    The idea that online sources such as YouTube, Khan Academy, Coursera, and can give valid information for people to use is true. Unfortunately these sources do not give you the information needed and the documentation needed to show you could pass a four year program and in the end acquire a degree in the field you are studying and go on to receive a job in that field. These web based sources may help people understand things and learn new information but they are nowhere near as good as a real schooling program like the ones offered at colleges or universities.
    Since YouTube, Khan Academy, Coursera, and cannot actually earn you a degree then what on the internet will help you be as advanced academically as a real four year program would? Well there are many online classes offered from universities all across America. These classes can earn you a degree in the field you were studying and they can be taken from the comfort of your home. They can save money for the person taking the course because not only would the person enrolled save money on the commute but also they would not have to live on campus therefor taking away that cost. These online courses do earn the person a degree therefor they help whoever is taking them get jobs and further themselves in life. Since there is a form of documentation people take the classes taken seriously and believe that the person does know the material.
    In the future I feel that classes being offered over the internet will be the normal thing and that most people will take them instead of attending classes in person. Unfortunately, just like regular classes that are offered, People will find a way to drastically increase the prices of these courses as well causing them to be as expensive as regular in person classes.

  25. Vannesa Martinez

    College is a hotly debated topic among the American people for a significant number of reasons, ranging from financials, locations, school status, just to name a few. However, this article poses a great question that most likely not a lot of parents or students reflect on. The title of this article, “Are Your Kids Going to a Traditional 4 Year University” poses an interesting topic of discussion as it is automatically assumed in society that once we leave high school we go straight into a four-year institution. It is a given in society that we are to follow the norm of some other millions of graduating high school seniors who also apply to go straight into a four year university. But it does not have to be that way, we do not need to follow that regular pattern. Aside from the online courses or online resources that anyone can utilize via the web, this also brings in question other available options for those who do not want to attend a four year institution. For those who do not want it, it cannot be a variety of reasons, not just because they do not want to.
    As the article reiterates, tuition costs and other expenses and fees are rising astronomically that it becomes difficult for families or for the students themselves to be able to support themselves through the four year journey. College tuition and additional costs are rising on average by 2-3% per year, however, our income is not seeing the same rapid growth, so we are falling behind on being able to keep up with these costs. Personally, the pricier the school does not make it any less well than another institution. It will still offer the same resources and same courses, there will be slight variation to the majors and curriculum offered but essentially they all offer the same service, to offer higher education services. Universities are the same as brand names, the more well-known and famous institution gets charged a lot more. At the end of the day, they all offer the same collegiate experience as all of the other hundreds of academic institutions across campus. Which brings up the point the article raises, in which parents are more worried to have their children be prepared for the workforce than the collegiate experience themselves. In turn, there are other options parents and students can take a look at that offer the same chances of being successful in society and in the workforce. As the article states, there are an enormous amount of online websites that offer courses that are inexpensive and free and they are here at the reach of our hands. The internet offers ways for us to advance ourselves intellectually and we need to realize how to take advantage of this opportunity and understand well how to use this resource. Technology has grown to be an integral part of our lives that we have grown to become dependent on it, and since it is used on a day to day business, we can only better ourselves to use technology for educational purposes. Nothing beats in-person learning, do not get me wrong, but with the cost of college rising, this might become the next path to learning in the future. There is nothing set in stone yet but I do see this being the case as we continue down the path of integrating technology more into aspects of our lives.
    Another option to consider if people do not or cannot attend four year universities is that they can also opt to go to vocational schools to learn tricks of the trade. The roughly take about two years and are also a great option for people who do not want to be in school for four years compared to two years. Learning a trade and service is another option to consider as these will always be needed and in demand in society, they are not jobs that will die out anytime soon. It is not the norm that society sees of having children participate in vocational schools, but that should not keep children from pursuing such schools. So if parents or students are worried about the affordability of universities, they can also take a look at vocational schools which offer great services and programs and children will still come out prepared and ready to tackle the workforce

  26. Robby Hazel

    In Geoffrey Thomulka’s article, Are your kids going to a traditional, 4 year university?, he cites research regarding a parent’s motive to send their children to college, lists substantially cheaper alternatives to a college degree, and asks whether the reader whether or not we would send our (hopefully) hypothetical children to a four year university given the information that he listed. With college costs going through the roof, reaching nearly two-hundred thousand dollars, this topic is on the mind of more parents and students than ever before. There are seemingly endless reasons that offer both support and disapproval for attending a college whether their origins are educational, career-oriented, and social development to name a few. In my personal opinion, I find attending a four year university to be rather important if one’s career goals require it. However, I do not plan on forcing anything of that nature upon my future children. While I personally view college as a necessity, I will willingly send my future children to college if they have the aspiration to attend, and will offer no opposition to that decision.

    In my future career path of finance, obtaining at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is more of a requirement than a suggestion. My expected future earnings are rather high, assuming all goes well and as planned, so investing such a large amount of borrowed money in my education seems like a rather smart investment. However, there are a plethora of professions that simply do not require one to obtain the piece of paper that essentially says you’re qualified for the job without actually proving it in the workplace. Several of my friends back home in Delaware grew up fascinated by working on cars and trucks and eventually entered the mechanic profession upon graduation of high school. First, they had to attend classes at the local community college for a couple semesters to get the necessary certificate. These courses cost a substantially smaller amount than attending class at a four year university, and they make a good living in a field that they enjoy. That being said, I do not find it necessary for my children to go to a four year college as long as they are successful and doing what they enjoy.

    However, there will be a small part of me that is sad they missed out on such an awesome experience. There has not been a day where I have seriously regretted my decision to attend a four year university, aside from every single exam week thus far. As Geoffrey pointed out in his post, college offers far more than the knowledge gained in the class room. To me, college is a great platform to further develop social skills, learn to tolerate and accept the differences of others, and make lasting friendships and relationships with likeminded and different people alike. It is for that reason why I firmly believe attending a college offers many benefits unattainable anywhere else. However, as much as I am happy with my decision, I will support my children’s decision either way because they’re the one taking out the loan at the end of the day.

  27. Matthew Marinella

    Education is something that carries a lot of value in our society today. The highest form of education is by going away to a university to study. Here is where individual pave the path for the rest of their lives. Many people seem to argue that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. After all, as soon as graduation hits it is time for the real world. College for sure has its ways of distracting students. This tends to make the students slack off more than they should and in turn making them less prepared for real life. Four year universities in my opinion do as much as they can to prepare their students for the working world. College is what the student makes of it. That is what the most important aspect of college is. The students are making their own life decisions for the first time in their lives. They have to be proactive attend classes, make relationships and future connections, and along with that setting themselves up professionally in the real world at the end of it.
    College education however is something that has surprised me since attending. The professors and faculty go to great lengths to teach, help, and guide the student body. In a short two years, I have gained a great number of skills and have learned a great deal about my future life and career ahead. A great number of the professors and faculty members have great resumes of experience. Another key investment of college is the alumni base that they have. This is something that I think is extremely undervalued when you talk about college. Knowing a lot of information and being a smart individual is very important, but it is more important to have work connections. At the end of the day, a lot of the time it comes down to who you know in the working world. If you know someone they can set you up with an opportunity that is available to no one else. The alumni base offered by universities is what can benefit a lot of students. By reaching out to them it can set them up with all sorts of internships and job opportunities.
    Internships, is something that is a great value to the college experience. This is the only way to get hands on experience in the field of work people want. The university that you attend has to be hands on in this field. A lot of the time people get a chance to work for an employer through an internship opportunity. The stuff learned in class does truly have a great impact on your success at internships. Students must apply critical thinking skills to apply what they have learned to real life examples. In this day and age if you are dreaming of a good job you need a college degree. There is no reason at all to question how effective college is. The four year university’s in America go to great lengths to prepare their students and they are a staple for success in the working world today.


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