CSU's Doctorate Tuition Dropped...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sshuang, May 3, 2007.

  1. sshuang

    sshuang New Member

  2. bing

    bing New Member

    I think I recall it not being all that much off from what NCU was charging. Given the choice, for a few dollars more, it would make sense to go for a DBA at a regionally accredited school. I recall a discussion on the forum that outlined the price of the program, and compared it to others. You can likely search for it and find it. The forum might have been on DD rather than DI, though.

  3. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Couldn't find that thread, but I found the thread over at degreeboard. Yes, fairly recently, Columbia Southern was charging doctoral tuition of $375/hour compared to Northcentral's $475/hour.
  4. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    How do you get loans for these programs?

    When I attended Ashworth (another DETC school) I had to pay everything upfront or I could make a loan agreement and spread it over a couple of years. I chose the latter option and ended up graduating with my bachelors a couple of weeks after graduating with my associates. I'm wondering if there are any good sources of educational loans out there for those with adequate but not perfect credit.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Student Loan Marketing Association www.salliemae.com
  6. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I have never been tempted to go for a doctorate, much less a NA doctorate, but if that tuition hits the $250 or $225 mark, then I feel obligated to do it. Heck, it's like that dress on sale that my wife really doesn't need but can't pass up saving $50.00 if she ever changes her mind. ;)
  7. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    I know this has been hashed to death, but I still don’t know what to make of NA doctorates.

    I staunchly defend NA Masters, Bachelors, and Associate degrees; they have more utility in the business world than this board gives them credit for. But for a Doctorate degree, given the amount of work involved, and the fact that there are completely distance based RA degrees for the same cost, with open enrolment, I really struggle.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want the DETC to be wonderfully successful and eventually come along side RA as a complete peer. You would think the cost would be lower to enter the market though..
  8. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Clearly it hasn't been hashed enough...

    If there are still questions in one person's mind, the topic hasn't been hashed enough. I see what you mean that good RA programs are available with open enrollment. On the other hand, look at it from the perspective student's point of view. They look at an $80K UoP or a $50K Keller and throw their hands up in disgust.

    By allowing PhD programs, DETC is throwing the gauntlet down in challenge of severly overpriced doctorates at RA schools.

    I think "the more competition, the better".

    Just my two cents.

  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    DETC doesn't accredit schools offering the Ph.D.
  10. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    I'm sorry, misspeak...

    Yea, that was a forward looking statement. Per the rest of the thread, they are headed in that direction and will be accrediting schools with doctorate programs (including PhD programs that count as "professional degrees") starting sometime after approval this month. As a forward looking statement, it was designed to indicate that DETC will be throwing down the gauntlet. Again, I believe in applying free enterprise to higher education as it will help constrain costs and make it more possible for people like me to get the kind of education we need.

  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No. Ph.D. programs will not be a part of their expanded scope. Other academic doctorates, yes. But not the Ph.D. DETC makes this clear on their website, differentiating the "professional" doctorates like the DBA and EdD.

    DETC-accredited schools awarding the Ph.D.? Maybe someday, who knows? But not this time around.
  12. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    I guess I was trigger happy...

    I guess I was wrong. Sorry.

    I can't emphasize enough the importance of letting a free marketplace impact educational costs. I can't emphasize enough the need to have more "providers" in this game. Then we'll be moving closer to pure monopolistic competition which is what I want to see for higher education. I believe that adding distance learning programs we can achieve that goal very effectively.

  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Higher education is not a "monopoly." A "monopoly" is a business that dominates its industry to the point where fair competition doesn't exist. No university in America does that.

    "Oligopoly" is the more accurate term. But I wouldn't even buy that. There aren't a few schools that dominate the scene. There are thousands of degree-granting institutions in the U.S., and they offer a wide array of degree programs, content, delivery systems, and cost structures. These are hardly the conditions for an oligopoly.

    So what, then? Well, have an industry (higher education) that also has a self-regulating function (accreditation) that, in turn, has some quasi-official status (through its widespread recognition as a sign of legitimacy and its recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as a means for distributing financial aid).

    Even beyond that, we don't have one form of accreditation. We have national, regional, and professional. And even there, we have wide differences between the accreditors in each category (and schools accredited by each agency). Even the 6 regionals don't agree on many things!

    And don't forget, accreditation is, in many cases, optional. There are a handful of very fine schools that choose to operate without it (and quite a few bad ones that claim it isn't important--usually while claiming accreditation from fake and/or unrecognized agencies).

    I challenge anyone to show us a country's higher education system with more diversity and opportunity than the one found in the U.S.

    The argument that the higher education industry acts as a cartel is empty. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2007
  14. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    Maybe, but the question is: Does the need for accreditation equate to a collusive environment?

    Let us not forget that accreditation came about as different colleges and universities started to get together and create standards that could be used to measure organizations, in essence creating a differentiator between schools, some are on the inside and some on the outside.

    Since accreditation is a measuring stick for the value of the educational commodity, the “credit”, we should not completely dismiss the potentially collusive nature of this market. Then also there is the attempt of the government to regulate some elements of education (DOE anyone).

    Now I’m not supporting mindless conspiracies or anything, but don’t be so quick to dismiss the ideas, because like our government, our educations structure is probably the worst possible structure, except of course compared to any other option.
  15. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    Oh and also, you should look up the difference between a monopoly and monopolistic competition, because I think you confused the two in the prior post, which will change your view of what jmetro wrote I think..
  16. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Some clarifications...And further theory...

    First of all, I'd like to thank dlady for noticing the distinction I was drawing between what I wanted for higher education (namely monopolistic competition) and what we have now (as Rich so aptly put it - something close to an oligopoly).

    You're right in a way. But dlady is extremely accurate in her question, "Does the need for accreditation equate to a collusive environment?" I would argue that the Federal Government has a monopoly on higher education which it has abdicated to a number of accrediting bodies who handle specific kinds of institutions. So you're right, we don't have a monopoly and I wasn't trying to say either A). We have a monopoly on higher education, or B). That we need a typically defined monopoly on higher education.

    You see, right now with a few recognized accrediting bodies, all handled by CHEA and most of the very powerful bodies sticking closely to a set of recognized standards for accreditation we do have something akin to an oligopoly. I'm not talking about the providers, they are never the problem in stemming competition. I'm talking about the people who license, monitor, accredit, and in other ways control the providers. The old question "Who will watch the watchmen?" arises everytime I think of higher education accreditation.

    You're also right when you say that we can't ever have monopolistic competition (by definition) with the wide variety of degree programs, content, delivery systems, and cost structures inherent in the current system. At least from the perspective of the buyer and seller. But let's take it from the perspective of society as a whole and we'll see something interesting...

    Remember econ 101? Remember that when you introduce regulations into a market system (and don't for a minute think we aren't talking about market forces when I choose WGU over UoP because of price differences), you automatically introduce costs. These costs arbitrarily hold the price of education higher than equilibrium level. Because people would have traded in increasing quantities at prices below this arbitrary floor (but aren't able to due to regulation) society loses some value associated with the opportunity cost of this regulation. This loss is expressed in the deadweight. A real economist will be able to tell you more about it; I'm just a businessman who loves economic theory.

    Anyway, from the perspective of society there are now hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions that could add value to society but are unable to be completed due to the arbitrary increases in transaction costs put in place by accreditation and other forms of regulation. Where does this money go? This money is lost to society. Neither buyer nor seller can access the deadweight.

    So what's the point of the cost aspect of these regulations, you ask? Well, they create transfer payments between the buyer and the seller. Simply said, by forcing the price high you take more money from the buyer and transfer it to the seller as a cost associated with making the purchase happen. This is NOT my core argument. While an increase in the number of sellers would effectively offset the costs associated with transfer payments (by distributing these transfer payments across an increasing number of sellers), and while an increase in the number of sellers would NOT necessarily resolve any deadweight in the system, my argument is that eventually from the perspective of society as a whole, increasing the number of education providers to critical mass would firstly, remove those first two problems from the equation completely but most importantly, doing this would create a truly self-regulating market system driving the educational facilities towards non-profit status (by default) and creating a better overall cost structure for society as a whole.

    That's fine and I agree with you that the variety is truly astounding, but if anything you're just proving that this is currently some "big boy's club" full of rich old men who get to decide who teaches what, who learns, and more importantly, who earns. The oligarchy currently establishes the "good" schools, the "bad" schools, and the "ok" schools and then society as a whole judges the graduates of these schools and classes them. Thereby putting each human cog into its place and holding them there. This is why some cultures have a problem with distance learning and why we have a discussion board at degreeinfo. It's harder to class a person who refuses to class themselves. So now, it appears to come down to who has the money to attend a Harvard or a Yale or a UoP and who doesn't.

    And strangely enough my argument isn't to remove accreditation...

    Even though the accreditation system introduces deadweight by putting an arbitrary price ceiling in place my problem isn't with the number or types of accreditors, it's with any limits placed by the accreditors on the number and types of educational facilities who meet accreditation standards and the number and types of degrees that can be issued to students who have met the requirements of the degree program. This is why Dave Wagner and I have had some disputations about the theoretical limit on the number of PhDs that can be allowed to graduate from an accredited university. I argue not because I'm a hardhead, but because I see any hinderance of the system of education as introducing more and more economic loss into society which society eats everyday as people decide that college is too expensive and too hard to get in to.

    What's my solution? I'm not sure that my solution is completely formalized but it has something to do with opening the floodgates wider on distance education to provide more opportunities for those who want to earn legitimate degrees at reasonable cost. I believe that the worst deadweight loss are those people who can't go back to college because of funding issues (and don't tell me about the hundreds of scholarship websites and stuff, $12B worth of grants and scholarships a year or so don't come anywhere near the loss to society caused by inappropriately applied regulations).

    I'm an American. I believe in America and the worth of the individual. I believe in hard work and dedication. I believe that we do have the highest quality educational system in the world producing the most educated students in a very wide range of subjects. I agree that we do have a lot of programs and systems in place to rectify deadweight loss across the society and that therefore we have more opportunity as Americans to become educated and intellectually stimulated/oriented than anywhere else on Earth.

    I believe that while there may not be any direct collusion, the economic theory is unrefutable, higher education behaves as a cartel whether it is or not.

    So...With that in mind lets talk about how I'd like to see higher education behave over the next 50 years or so...

    I'd like to see the educational system become truly self-regulating with none of these ludicrous price increases that have come to be seen as the bane of our educational system. I'd like to see each educator take only as much in tuition as is necessary to meet the underlying cost structure. This then would be something similar to rate-of-return regulation for a monopoly. I'm not saying that higher education is a monopoly. I'm saying that I'd like to see prices go down across the board or at least stay steady with inflation for years at a time.

    By definition, monopolistic competition is a market form with very many producers and very many consumers of a product or service in which the goods are are basically heterogeneous from the consumer's perspective but from society's perspective may be homogonous (for example, it doesn't matter whether Jacob Metro takes a major in Physics or whether he chooses Information Technology - to society this product is homogonous - someone else will take his spot). In this form there are few barriers to entry excluding marketing and product differentiation costs and both buyer and seller have some control over the equilibrium price.

    (Darn this 10000 character limit)...
  17. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    And the 75 second post wait...

    It sounds complicated but this is what has been happening as slowly more and more educators have stepped up and started businesses selling education to the masses. It is important for us at degreeinfo because distance learning and particularily online education is another outlet for the pent up economic pressure caused by inadvisably implemented regulation.

    I'm not saying that we should be done with regulation either.

    If it helps you understand my mentality, I consider myself an Austrian economist following in the shadow of the likes of Turgot and Mises. This means I'm fiscally highly conservative, socially moderate, and personally something of a classical liberalist (as opposed to the neoclassical and social liberalists of the Kaynesian persuasion like FDR). But I have the added advantage of not being so dedicated to my types of thinking that I am bound to be utterly self-consistent.

    What I'm saying is this...

    If degree mills exist (and they do), they exist to service a need. They act as a "gray" or "black" market for educational services. Black markets only exist to fill an economic void left by improper public policy. If we look at higher education from the perspective of those who use this black market form, we see stumbling blocks to education in the form of bad economic policy.

    If we look at regulation and accreditation of educational institutions, we see costs added to the business cycle that imply a price floor - above which all trading must begin. This floor causes ineffeciencies in the market leading to deadweight loss. If we look at higher education from the perspective of those who would initiate an educational transaction but have been priced out of the market, we see stumbling blocks to education in the form of bad economic policy.

    If we take a macro-policy view of the opportunity costs associated with NOT providing everyone with the education they want at a price they can afford, we see costs to society that could be innumerable (for example, a loss of Einstein's, Nobel's, Plato's, and Mozart's to be traded for shopkeeps, and farmers, and bankers, and CEOs). There is no way to recover from not generating the latent genius in each person to provide the value of their services to society. If we look at higher education from the perspective of opportunity costs, we see a lack of clearly defined focus on generating the latent genius that society needs to further our cultural growth.

    Anyway, one of these days I'll have a good idea of what to do but for now all I can do is think about the topic and respond to Dave or Rich or Kizmet or dlady or whoever else I've gotten into some thought-provoking conversations with.

    Thanks kindly for your thoughts and opinions.

  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Well put.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interesting distinction, and I appreciate the heads-up. But it doesn't change the main point that there are thousands of degree-granting schools of all types, with accreditation from dozens of agencies and operating in innumerable ways (including prices, a major way of measuring "monopolistic competition," IMHO.

    Again, the difference between "monopoly" and "monopolistic competition" is quite real, and I do appreciate the correction.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Jacob's follow-up posts were really cool and gives us all something to think about.

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