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The very thorough analysis, to study. thank you

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A bit peripheral -- but some enterprising UC doctoral student should study collusion among committee and sub-committee members of the NSF and NIH. I bet a lot of glass-ware would get broken.


"Incentives and Alignment with Social Welfare" or "Many students who receive subsidized loans to enable them to go to college, but would not be subsidized by a university, would be better off not going to college. College is not for everyone".

In my day it was called the "Grade Point Average" and everyone on campus lived or died by it. We had a saying, "Although, we're graduates from accredited state highschools and they have to accept us - it doesn't meant they have too keep us". As for controlling costs, you just got used to living in the "University Slums and eating oatmeal and grits on a regular basis"... ;)


Posner writes: "From an overall social standpoint, therefore, there is a great deal of waste in the American university sector (as there is in most institutions), but it is not obvious to me what if anything should be done about it."

With all respect to Posner, the answer is obvious -- get the Federal government out of the business of subsidizing universities via student loan and grant programs. Such a reform would have at least two salutary results.

(1) Universities would have to stand on their own feet, rather than impoverishing their students, to maintain their finances.

(2) Students and their parents would never again have to fill out a damned FAFSA form.

The second point is not frivolous. When faced with a FAFSA form many years ago, I said to hell with that, and worked my way through college instead of becoming a ward of the Federal government and subsidizing the faculty lounge, while I ate oatmeal and grits. I still ate oatmeal and grits, but had the satisfaction of knowing the administrators and faculty at my college were not reaping the benefits of Federal funding that I would have to repay.

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Great analysis of the educational sector! Of course, not for profit organizations are more risk averse. Investors would not likely see incentives in investing on projects that would induce small gain for them. What these not-for-profit schools should do is raise educational standards. But then we are well aware of the fact that they cannot do that if there is not enough funds to develop infrastructures, lab equipment, libraries and of course labor (teachers and professors).

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I couldn't agree with you more. College definitely isn't for everybody which is why there is so much waste in the American university sector.

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Students might be eager to study if there will be an incentives, but of course we need to know that we should learn without any reward. We will earn all of this in the end.

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I College Administrators were looking out for the welfare of society, then there would not be such flagrant gaming of the US News college rankings.

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They borrow, just like for-profit institutions, but the remainder of their capital consists of donations rather than of equity investment; the university’s endowment correspondents to the equity in a for-profit corporation.

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