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  • Medical school with no debt

    My alma mater just got a ridiculous donation earmarked for funding the full cost of medical school for future students.

    Too bad I’m too old to be a part of this ....

    With $250 Million Gift, Columbia Medical School Looks to End Student Debt:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/nyregion/columbia-medical-school-endowment-p-roy-vagelos.html

  • #2
    maybe i'm cynical.

    it's a wonderful gift.

    however, i think they have been rich so long they don't know what it is like to have to work for a living.

    i don't think the gift will achieve the desired result of allowing people to pursue primary care careers, except for a few who likely would have pursued it anyways.  i think it kickstarts financial independence for a bunch of lucky students.

    i think it really makes columbia medical school superattractive to top students.

    i wonder how they decide who is going to get full aid and who gets partials?

     

    Comment


    • #3
      I have thought for a long time that these Ivy schools with tremendous endowments should not be charging tuition.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm happy that anything is being done to reduce debt burden, especially in a high cost of living area like NYC.  However, I am a bit disappointed in schools like Columbia that have (medical school alone) over $1.1 billion in endowment.  The administrators will tell you that they "need" this endowment and more money coming in - otherwise, tuition would be even HIGHER!  Bull.

        Comment


        • #5




          maybe i’m cynical.

          it’s a wonderful gift.

          however, i think they have been rich so long they don’t know what it is like to have to work for a living.

          i don’t think the gift will achieve the desired result of allowing people to pursue primary care careers, except for a few who likely would have pursued it anyways.  i think it kickstarts financial independence for a bunch of lucky students.

          i think it really makes columbia medical school superattractive to top students.

          i wonder how they decide who is going to get full aid and who gets partials?

           
          Click to expand...


          They say in the article that it's "need based".  So basically they continue the same price-discriminatory practices that undergrad institutions do.  I suppose we'll all be paying a different price for steak soon.

          Comment


          • #6







            maybe i’m cynical.

            it’s a wonderful gift.

            however, i think they have been rich so long they don’t know what it is like to have to work for a living.

            i don’t think the gift will achieve the desired result of allowing people to pursue primary care careers, except for a few who likely would have pursued it anyways.  i think it kickstarts financial independence for a bunch of lucky students.

            i think it really makes columbia medical school superattractive to top students.

            i wonder how they decide who is going to get full aid and who gets partials?

             
            Click to expand…


            They say in the article that it’s “need based”.  So basically they continue the same price-discriminatory practices that undergrad institutions do.  I suppose we’ll all be paying a different price for steak soon.
            Click to expand...


            yes but i am not sure how need based is determined for most 22 year old young adults.  i'm not even sure how they do it currently? need based on parents wealth?

            Comment


            • #7




              I’m happy that anything is being done to reduce debt burden, especially in a high cost of living area like NYC.  However, I am a bit disappointed in schools like Columbia that have (medical school alone) over $1.1 billion in endowment.  The administrators will tell you that they “need” this endowment and more money coming in – otherwise, tuition would be even HIGHER!  Bull.
              Click to expand...


              yeah i agree. that is such a load of BS.

              the capital tied up in uni endowments in the usa seems to me to be something of a scandal.

               

              Comment


              • #8










                maybe i’m cynical.

                it’s a wonderful gift.

                however, i think they have been rich so long they don’t know what it is like to have to work for a living.

                i don’t think the gift will achieve the desired result of allowing people to pursue primary care careers, except for a few who likely would have pursued it anyways.  i think it kickstarts financial independence for a bunch of lucky students.

                i think it really makes columbia medical school superattractive to top students.

                i wonder how they decide who is going to get full aid and who gets partials?

                 
                Click to expand…


                They say in the article that it’s “need based”.  So basically they continue the same price-discriminatory practices that undergrad institutions do.  I suppose we’ll all be paying a different price for steak soon.
                Click to expand…


                yes but i am not sure how need based is determined for most 22 year old young adults.  i’m not even sure how they do it currently? need based on parents wealth?
                Click to expand...


                They have full understanding of students' and their parents' financials if they are applying for aid, don't they?  Schools can say "we've got financial aid - everyone should apply!" and then they have the power to ask whatever they want.  So need based to them could indeed be based on parents' wealth, despite the fact that those parents may have cut them loose beyond undergrad.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you think universities can significantly increase their tuition fees because they can? incoming students are encouraged or made to believe that they will get a good job and pay for their loans eventually. burden of student loans are so high and not all new grads start with a 6-figure salary. A lot of new grads cannot even get a decent job and the student loans are left unpaid.  If students are really asked to pay outright their tuition fee, very few can afford it.  Will universities be pushed to lower the tuition fee (I am hoping this will be the case for my children's sake)?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can only speak for my experience, but Columbia already gives generous need based aid. When I attended, I received a half tuition grant every year and a private loan from Columbia where interest was not due or accumulated until after I finished residency. All other loans were stafford + perkins.It was cheaper for me to attend Columbia than my state school (SUNY - they only gave out loans).

                    Need based on my parent's income.

                    Comment


                    • #11




                      I can only speak for my experience, but Columbia already gives generous need based aid. When I attended, I received a half tuition grant every year and a private loan from Columbia where interest was not due or accumulated until after I finished residency. All other loans were stafford + perkins.It was cheaper for me to attend Columbia than my state school (SUNY – they only gave out loans).

                      Need based on my parent’s income.
                      Click to expand...


                      Another way of looking at this, and this is no offense to you of course, is that Columbia charged a hefty price to other kids, burdening them with hundreds of thousands of debt, so that other kids could get the same product for lower price and much less debt.  Doesn't sound to generous to those other kids - especially when Columbia has over a billion dollars in an endowment for the medical school alone.

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        Do you think universities can significantly increase their tuition fees because they can? incoming students are encouraged or made to believe that they will get a good job and pay for their loans eventually. burden of student loans are so high and not all new grads start with a 6-figure salary. A lot of new grads cannot even get a decent job and the student loans are left unpaid.  If students are really asked to pay outright their tuition fee, very few can afford it.  Will universities be pushed to lower the tuition fee (I am hoping this will be the case for my children’s sake)?
                        Click to expand...


                        Sadly, universities at all levels price discriminate against those who supposedly have the means (not necessarily willingness) to pay.  So people end up paying different amounts for the SAME PRODUCT.  The universities, which have competed on spending and non-value add program growth, can't justify their value legitimately so they peddle the same sad story that a university degree is what you "need" for success.  If the universities actually believed in the validity of their degree they would engage in direct loans to students (absent governmental involvement) whereby the loan repayments were linked to the student's income post-graduation.  Some have started this practice (I believe Purdue started this) but I wouldn't hold your breath on the majority.  They like their free flowing federal dollars just fine that it's not worth the added risk.  And the students suffer.

                        Comment


                        • #13







                          Do you think universities can significantly increase their tuition fees because they can? incoming students are encouraged or made to believe that they will get a good job and pay for their loans eventually. burden of student loans are so high and not all new grads start with a 6-figure salary. A lot of new grads cannot even get a decent job and the student loans are left unpaid.  If students are really asked to pay outright their tuition fee, very few can afford it.  Will universities be pushed to lower the tuition fee (I am hoping this will be the case for my children’s sake)?
                          Click to expand…


                          Sadly, universities at all levels price discriminate against those who supposedly have the means (not necessarily willingness) to pay.  So people end up paying different amounts for the SAME PRODUCT.  The universities, which have competed on spending and non-value add program growth, can’t justify their value legitimately so they peddle the same sad story that a university degree is what you “need” for success.  If the universities actually believed in the validity of their degree they would engage in direct loans to students (absent governmental involvement) whereby the loan repayments were linked to the student’s income post-graduation.  Some have started this practice (I believe Purdue started this) but I wouldn’t hold your breath on the majority.  They like their free flowing federal dollars just fine that it’s not worth the added risk.  And the students suffer.
                          Click to expand...


                          The Purdue thing is a fascinating model but I think you'd get immense pushback from universities on this not just based on the straight economics but based on this lingering and frankly I think valid respect for a liberal arts education.

                          The problem now is that higher ed is so damned expensive that universities just can't continue to pretend that sitting on a leafy quad discussing Kant and Foucault is economically viable.

                          Comment


                          • #14







                            I’m happy that anything is being done to reduce debt burden, especially in a high cost of living area like NYC.  However, I am a bit disappointed in schools like Columbia that have (medical school alone) over $1.1 billion in endowment.  The administrators will tell you that they “need” this endowment and more money coming in – otherwise, tuition would be even HIGHER!  Bull.
                            Click to expand…


                            yeah i agree. that is such a load of BS.

                            the capital tied up in uni endowments in the usa seems to me to be something of a scandal.

                             
                            Click to expand...


                            Malcolm Gladwell ran an excellent podcast series in 2016 (better than the one in 2017, IMO), in which there was a subsection on financing higher education, from the viewpoint of the institution.

                            Princeton University was highlighted and my guess is that other Ivy Leagues and similar are on similar, if not greater, financial footing. I do not remember the details but the gist was that Princeton earns so much on its investment portfolio that charging tuition was essentially gravy, not really necessary to run the university. Sobering, when you think about it.

                            Comment


                            • #15










                              Do you think universities can significantly increase their tuition fees because they can? incoming students are encouraged or made to believe that they will get a good job and pay for their loans eventually. burden of student loans are so high and not all new grads start with a 6-figure salary. A lot of new grads cannot even get a decent job and the student loans are left unpaid.  If students are really asked to pay outright their tuition fee, very few can afford it.  Will universities be pushed to lower the tuition fee (I am hoping this will be the case for my children’s sake)?
                              Click to expand…


                              Sadly, universities at all levels price discriminate against those who supposedly have the means (not necessarily willingness) to pay.  So people end up paying different amounts for the SAME PRODUCT.  The universities, which have competed on spending and non-value add program growth, can’t justify their value legitimately so they peddle the same sad story that a university degree is what you “need” for success.  If the universities actually believed in the validity of their degree they would engage in direct loans to students (absent governmental involvement) whereby the loan repayments were linked to the student’s income post-graduation.  Some have started this practice (I believe Purdue started this) but I wouldn’t hold your breath on the majority.  They like their free flowing federal dollars just fine that it’s not worth the added risk.  And the students suffer.
                              Click to expand…


                              The Purdue thing is a fascinating model but I think you’d get immense pushback from universities on this not just based on the straight economics but based on this lingering and frankly I think valid respect for a liberal arts education.

                              The problem now is that higher ed is so damned expensive that universities just can’t continue to pretend that sitting on a leafy quad discussing Kant and Foucault is economically viable.
                              Click to expand...


                              Indeed.  There are a few things straining the system.  The group that has shown the largest increase in taking out loans are the students from families with higher incomes.  That shows the system is breaking - their ability to extract the full cost is decreasing.  At some point even the wealthy realize there is little value to sending their child to a high-priced school and just don't.  Then there's the social aspect of things, where more and more schools are being put in the spotlight for their tuition, their big endowments, and then examples of colleges like Ithaca and Rosemont who cut tuition by 40% in this past year - not to mention alternative models like Purdue.  Other countries do the Purdue model more robustly - I think Australia is one.  The solution here is similar to the fix in medicine - make the institution (schools, medicine) take on the risk.  In that sense their incentives aren't to spend more, but to provide more value.  In medicine the analogy would be ACOs providing their own insurance product.  As long as results and pricing were made to be transparent (government's role) you'd have an efficient market with incentives towards value, not spending.

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