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A Thought Experiment in the Tuition Fee Debate

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was reading an article yesterday on the debate to lower tuition fees and it got me to thinking, "How can this debate actually be solved?"

I haven't given this a tremendous amount of thought about this experiment, but I want some debate on whether or not you think this would be a 'good' idea.

Here goes.

Essentially my thought experiment is on the effect of rewarding post-secondary students with free education based on their grades. My plan would go a little something like this.

The price of a single class at my university is $470 and we operate on a 9-point GPA scale. What would you think of a student's tuition payment based on their GPA in each individual class.

Example:

A+: student pays $0 for the class
A: student pays $100 for the class
...
...
...
B-: student pays full price ($470) for the class
...
...
...
...
F: student pays $900 for the class

Do you think this would be enough of an incentive to make students try harder to get better grades? Will students cheat more? Would this give less privileged but equally intelligent youth the ability to get a university education? Policy initiative problems (if government tried to mandate it, PS I live in Canada)? etc...

All comments (criticizing or praising) are welcome.
post #2 of 16
how would a university operate when they're only being paid after the class is taught? wouldn't this create an incentive to grade students down, as the student needs a certain number of F's to even stay open?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
1. the students could pay the $900 upfront then be reimbursed after the class is finished. 2. the school could be subsidized by the gov. and the whole point of the experiment is to get students to try harder.
post #4 of 16
I wouldn't base the money on a single class since that makes the incentive to cheat or negotiate for grades even greater.

If there was something like this I'd probably base it on GPA and major. STEM majors (since they're usually harder) have a lower scale while humanities would have a higher scale to get reimbursed. I also wouldn't do full tuition reimbursement but cap it where there's still enough of an incentive to make earn high grades.

Or you could do it where cum laude gets $x, magna gets $x+1, and summa gets $x+2 upon graduation.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasmade View Post

I wouldn't base the money on a single class since that makes the incentive to cheat or negotiate for grades even greater.
If there was something like this I'd probably base it on GPA and major. STEM majors (since they're usually harder) have a lower scale while humanities would have a higher scale to get reimbursed. I also wouldn't do full tuition reimbursement but cap it where there's still enough of an incentive to make earn high grades.
Or you could do it where cum laude gets $x, magna gets $x+1, and summa gets $x+2 upon graduation.

That's one thing I forgot to mention. And come to think of it, full tuition reimbursement is definitely not a good idea, maybe in the 60% range for a stellar GPA. Having to wait until graduation to receive the reimbursement is also a good idea because it creates a much greater incentive for people who start to actually finish.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamesuvic View Post

1. the students could pay the $900 upfront then be reimbursed after the class is finished. 2. the school could be subsidized by the gov. and the whole point of the experiment is to get students to try harder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamesuvic View Post

That's one thing I forgot to mention. And come to think of it, full tuition reimbursement is definitely not a good idea, maybe in the 60% range for a stellar GPA. Having to wait until graduation to receive the reimbursement is also a good idea because it creates a much greater incentive for people who start to actually finish.

We already have a system in place that encourages students to "try harder" and "actually finish." I fondly refer to this mechanism as "gainful employment."
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

We already have a system in place that encourages students to "try harder" and "actually finish." I fondly refer to this mechanism as "gainful employment."
Yep, this.
post #8 of 16
I assume this debate only applies to public schools, as it should.

State schools are as good as it gets, they are almost free.

I know, almost isn't the right answer and eschews this debate, but really, in the state of California students for California State Universities pay around 7000 dollars a year for their tuition. That is obviously not nearly enough to cover the actual costs of the CSU system.

When I was younger I thought how expensive and unfair tuition was. Now, I wish I were an undergrad at a decent state school learning Bio engineering and studying my ass off and not caring about the cool.
post #9 of 16
Many students have scholarships that disappear if your GPA goes below a certain point. Same deal.
post #10 of 16

Too much bullshit of professor A grades easier than professor B and etc. Don't need any more of it.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjamesuvic View Post

I haven't given this a tremendous amount of thought about this experiment,

Don't worry. We believe you.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

We already have a system in place that encourages students to "try harder" and "actually finish." I fondly refer to this mechanism as "gainful employment."

nod[1].gif
post #13 of 16
If nothing else, it would probably counter the rampant grade inflation you see in so many universities.
post #14 of 16
Too many diploma mills, especially those offering liberal arts degrees. Far too easy to graduate high school. Too easy to enter college. And much too easy to graduate when a comprehensive exam isn't required. As the rate of university graduates increased do we find a corresponding increase in national prosperity over the decades? This is an investment that initially paid off post WWII, but over time it has been taken for granted and abused, and now the payback lags. It's a poor rate of return. I think the US ought to look to Germany and implement a realschule type of secondary school. Would reduce the number of unqualified students taking loans to earn "degrees" that will never help them find a career.
post #15 of 16
Maybe make the people going to school pay for it. If they are willing to work hard and are willing to pay for the schooling then they will do well. If they are not willing to work hard and are not willing to sacrifice a little upfront for the eventual benefits then they will not do well. This assumes of course that they do not have fibromyaliga and/or four children to support based on no fault of their own because the father is a deadbeat dad living on disability with PTSD following his selfless service to our country as a Burger King employee.
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