Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for July: (7/6) Jennifer J. Chow (7/13) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 1--Ice Cream Shop Mystery), (7/20) Susan Van Kirk, (7/27) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 2--Ice Cream Shop Mystery).

Friday, October 17, 2014

When a School act like a School

When a school acts like an educational institution

While wending my way through college and graduate school I attended five schools.
Of those five I have been most impressed by the efforts of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to offer education to a range of people who might not otherwise be able to get a college degree. 
The Carolina Covenant allows students with low financial backing the opportunity to graduate debt free from the university.  Any student who earns admission will be considered for the covenant by filling out the standard financial aid application.  At application for admission all financial information is separated from the rest of the forms.  People who make the decisions about acceptance do not have access to applicants’ financial status. The support continues for all four years as long as students remain in good standing academically.  Carolina reports they were the first university to offer this kind of assistance.

The assistance can make a great difference.  Based on national numbers for 2012 graduates the average student loan debt acquired was $29,400 for borrowers and 71% of graduates took out loans.  If education is supposed offer an opportunity for people in the lower section of the economic spectrum to improve their economic status, programs like the Carolina Covenant need to be developed to include people who can not afford a college education.

A program about to start is called Complete Carolina.  Under this program scholarship athletes who left school before their degree was completed can return to the school at any time and receive the financial terms they had with their scholarship.  Enhanced academic advising and career counseling will also be provided.  Indiana University and the University of Southern California are developing similar programs.  Other schools are expected to follow.

This program could be of tremendous benefit.

According to Richard Southell, associate professor of sport management at the University of North Carolina, the rosy numbers sometimes presented of increased graduation numbers for student-athletes are misleading.  Comparing full-time male students to full-time male student-athletes, Division I basketball players’ graduation rates lagged behind their peers by 20.6%; football players’ rates lagged their peers by 19.7%.  Women basketball players’ rates lagged their peers by 9.4%. 

Doctor Southell also pointed out that when all male student-athletes are combined for statistical analyses, the graduation rates for students playing golf, lacrosse and soccer are much higher than rates for students playing basketball and football.

Major sports generate income and, interestingly, more applications for undergraduate admissions.  
There are debates about whether or not universities take undue advantage of athletes. Programs like Complete Carolina reflect an effort by schools to address the student needs of student-athletes.  What do you think of programs like this? 


Gloria Alden said...

Warren, it sounds good to me. When I read of the astronomical pay checks of college and university presidents plus their coaches, I'm sickened by it, especially since it's now hard for university professors to get tenure since they are hiring more adjuncts instead. I think their priorities are skewed. Bob

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, the Bob was when I tried to read the horribly small number on the bottom of the robot asking me for my identification. Sorry about that.

Jim Jackson said...

Lipstick on a pig.

I'm not even sure something is better than nothing if the something covers up the real issue:

"Public" Universities run to benefit those at the top (administrators, coaches) off the backs of adjunct professors and student athletes.

If the U.S. is to remain great it must invest in its infrastructure both physical and mental. We are doing neither and given that the masses don't benefit from the educational structure, why should they care when government cuts taxes and spending on mental infrastructure?

After World War Two we had excess human capacity (the vets returning from war) and the GI Bill provided adequate support so the vets could get a college education and we all benefited.

We need something similar now because we also have a problem of excess human capacity, but not just for veterans, for everyone. And we need to hold the colleges' feet to the fire of performance, otherwise the scam that is For Profit colleges only worsens.

Okay diving off the high tower of my soapbox -- but you asked.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I don't have an answer. I wish I did, but it seems like every solution leads to higher taxes. People need incentives to save their money. Keeping it in the taxpayers' hands leads to more innovation and less government waste. Whenever there are plans--it necessitates more administrators to oversee the plans--diminishing the amount available to students. We need to stop spending money and give incentives to people to save money so that they can send their kids to school.

I know many of you will disagree, but I'd rather see people in control rather than the government.

KM Rockwood said...

Hi, Bob!

Warren, the whole higher education system is out of whack these days. And the current thinking in high schools is that "everyone needs to go to college!" So we end up with bewildered kids who don't know why they are being aimed at college, may have a skill set that would be better served elsewhere, and they may run up thousands of dollars of debt for a "education" they don't value, didn't need and won't use.

I'm of the opinion that we need to rethink this entire process.

Kaye George said...

Tennessee is about to implement a program whereby every student in the state gets a free 2-year ride at junior college. I have no idea how this will be paid for, but they say it won't be a problem. We'll see how this plays out.

Kara Cerise said...

Carolina Covenant sounds like a good idea to me. I hope other schools create programs to address the ridiculously high cost of college tuition.

When I was getting a masters degree at the University of Southern California in the 1990s, they gave me credit for work experience. This meant I didn't have to pay for two classes and was able to graduate earlier than planned. Very helpful.

I had hoped that technology would help lower the cost of tuition so students anywhere could watch lectures and take tests via the internet. But I'm not sure how successful a program like that would be because of the possibility of cheating and other issues.