Patterico's Pontifications

5/12/2014

The Coming Higher Education Bubble

Filed under: Education,General — JVW @ 6:49 am

[NOTE FROM PATTERICO: Please welcome long-time reader JVW as a guest blogger here at Patterico. JVW's comments are always well-written and well thought out, and this post continues the tradition.]

[Guest post by JVW]

Note: As a long-time reader and commenter, I am very pleased to make a modest contribution to this fine blog. When we were discussing my contribution, Patterico specifically mentioned my longstanding interest in higher education issues, so I would like to start out by addressing some issues that I have seen percolating over the past twenty years. This post will be a general overview of the problems facing higher education, and I hope to follow up with specific posts geared towards graduate education, undergraduate education, and college budgeting and financial aid coupled with the increasingly federalized loan industry. Since I know many of you have extensive experience with higher education as students, parents, alumni/ae, employees, and taxpayers, I would welcome your comments.

KS

Photo: Students of Kansas State Normal School (now known as Emporia State University), one hundred years ago. http://www3.familyoldphotos.com

In the aftermath of the great housing bubble pop at the end of the last decade, many economists began to point out the numerous parallels between the housing market and the higher education market: the unshakable faith that investment in the commodity would lead to long-term profitability, the incredible willingness to go deeply into debt in order to be an “investor” in the commodity, and the shortsighted anti-market interventions by the government in order to continue to prop up a scheme with obviously shaky underpinnings.

Fear of a college bubble goes as far back as the early 1970s, when Time Magazine ran an article titled Education: Graduates and Jobs: a Grave New World [linked article available for subscribers only], which reported that the huge number of Baby Boomers who had attended college and, particularly, graduate school had led to an oversupply of students with graduate degrees in proportion to the available jobs. I will have more about this in a later post. By 1987, Education Secretary William Bennett was beginning to explore the relationship between ever-increasing federal support for financial aid and loans, and the corresponding tuition increases that colleges were imposing. Fast-forward to early 2013, and even left-wing journalists who have every reason to be allies of the higher education establishment are openly noting that colleges are too big and too expensive, and produce too many underwhelming students with too much debt.

So it would seem that the existence of the bubble is fairly well established, despite the insistence of some bubble-denialists. It is thus left merely to forecast what kind of havoc might ensue from the bubble’s pop. Already we are seeing colleges reduce their enrollments or even shut their doors all together. After reaching a peak in 2011, college enrollments have dropped in both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. A 2012 report [PDF download] from Bain & Co. summarized the problem succinctly: “Institutions have more liabilities, higher debt service and increasing expense without the revenue or the cash reserves to back them up.” Less than a year later, a New York Times columnist estimated than fewer than one in eight U.S. colleges and universities seemed to have the financial wherewithal to withstand the coming turmoil.

We’ll come back to this in a bit, but in the meantime I’ll leave you with a series of questions to mull over in the comments: Is college still a worthwhile “investment” and if so, under what circumstances? Are we sending too many kids to college, and if so, what alternatives should they be presented with? Finally, what happens when the bubble pops? Do we see the growing influence of self-paced online education embodied by MOOCS [Massive Open Online Courses -- P], with perhaps traditional college classes only continuing for upper-level courses? If so, how does that affect the traditional blended role of the professor as both instructor and researcher?

- JVW

POSTSCRIPT FROM PATTERICO: If you want to read more about the higher education bubble, grab yourself a copy of Glenn Reynolds’s broadside The Higher Education Bubble. It’s a long essay in an inexpensive booklet form that can be read in under an hour, and the ideas are well worth that short time investment.

62 Responses to “The Coming Higher Education Bubble”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Welcome JVW!

    I wonder if we can’t get more kids into trade school to replace the aging skilled trade workers. If we don’t train them, we are going to have to import them.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  3. The local state college, until recently the state’s largest, a visa printer, was down 12.5% this year.

    Next promises to make this ‘the Good Ol’ Days’.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  4. Looking for positive’s in the global recovery?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/05/20140511_eucredit.png

    Made you look, Nimrod.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  5. Also note that we now have the student loan kickback. You should write a little bit about that.

    It already existed in the 1980s.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  6. Way, way, way back and maybe a few more ways, when I graduated my college degree probably cost equivalent to my first year salary.

    Now students are paying $40k a year and then taking $25k jobs when they graduate. Someone just had a study that only 57% of law students work in law after graduation. They still have student loans to pay off. It is a world upside down.

    Colleges have turned from a world of education to a world of business intent on passing federal dollars into the pockets of educators and administrators. Educating students is no longer the priority.

    Maybe the correction would require colleges to guarantee a job that would pay for the education in a field of the major. Then we would see less “women’s studies” or “black studies” programs. And, sociology degrees would only cost $10k.

    Jim (145e10)

  7. Student loans began as the National Defense Student Loan Act and loans were limited to certain major fields of study. They didn’t always make sense. I was working as an engineer and taking premed classes at night. In 1959, I joined the Air National Guard and went to basic training so I could continue going to class and not be drafted. When I got back from basic training, I discovered the student loan program and applied. I was told premed was not a major eligible for a loan. I applied as an English major and was accepted. I went back to school full time and took premed as electives.

    There is a precedent to limit loans to academic programs with real merit as job prospects. Not just STEM majors but accounting, business and needed language majors would be examples in my opinion.

    I suspect this would be unpopular with gender studies professors but that same purpose could be accomplished by a survey of graduates employed in the field of study they had majored in.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  8. I’ll say this, it’ll be a cold day before I donate a penny to either of my alma maters.

    luagha (29431e)

  9. Made you look

    Incorrect. I never click zerohedge links. Also, the plural of positive, if it existed, would be positives (sic).

    I’m not sure how what gg does is different from saying – look, a squirrel.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  10. I don’t know about trade schools, but I’d be advising young people with talent and initiative to get a vo-tech Nursing degree to pay the bills while they make their way in the world.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  11. Good morning. Good post and good questions, JVW.

    I’ll contribute this to the discussion:

    Last year the University of Illinois celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, federal legislation that established land grant institutions. The aim of the legislation was to help states create universities for the sons and daughters of the state, those who were not part of the elite and monied class.

    More than 150 years later, at a time when the sticker price for a year at the UI has reached $25,000 (including tuition, fees and room and board), while other universities, especially smaller private ones, are heavily recruiting top students in Illinois, where parts of the state still are recovering from economic recession, and in areas where there may not be a steady “pipeline” of students going to the UI, fewer high school graduates from the state’s rural counties are making their way each year to the University of Illinois.

    When looking at the Illinois counties classified as “noncore,” by the U.S. Census Bureau, which means they’re not part of core-based metro or micro-urban areas, those 37 counties are sending fewer students to the state’s flagship university. In 1993, there were 1,048 from these non-core counties attending the UI. That slipped to 1,017 in 2003 and even further to 600 for the 2013-2014 school year.

    …”It is a longstanding concern,” said Stacey Kostell, admissions director for the Urbana-Champaign campus. “It truly is important to us as a campus and a land-grant institute to represent the state,” she said.

    It’s a fairly long article, but one with quite a bit of information to consider–raising various issues going far beyond this one state and this one large university. I found the article to be mostly devoid of a political agenda. I’ll also add that according to alumni news (not included in this article) the U of I which has always attracted foreign students, especially to its world class computing, engineering and agriculture schools, has more foreign students enrolled than at any time in its history.

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2014-03-23/wooing-small-town-students-has-become-big-challenge-ui.html

    elissa (d97b71)

  12. 9. Not directed at you, Dribble Cup. I never flatter those with no socially redeeming worth.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. My theory is that many of the “black studies” and “womyn’s studies” majors (and other left wing majors) end up working for government, either directly or indirectly at the state, federal or local level. Just my guess. I think there are a lot of people in the government bureaucracy that are very sympathetic to these majors.

    Ipso Fatso (10964d)

  14. “the U of I which has always attracted foreign students, especially to its world class computing, engineering and agriculture schools, has more foreign students enrolled than at any time in its history.”

    State universities are aggressively recruiting out-of-state applicants for the tuition, which is often twice the in-state level. California, for one, is taking so many out-of-state students that there is not enough room for in-state applicants.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  15. I remember the Time Magazine article, it was recommended by a senior professor who halted his classroom lecture to announce that graduates of the University of California were no longer subject to discrimination in the lower paying job categories like taxi drivers, door-to-door salesmen, waitresses, and truck drivers.

    Students laughed assuming he was joking.

    ropelight (c8cb7b)

  16. I’ve had a sense for some time now that the murmurous drumbeat of accusations against “for profit” colleges were and are a smokescreen to keep people from looking too closely at the actual value of the traditional colleges. Political correctness, daft theorizing, and general idiocy have taken many of the best American colleges down to the level of the British State Universities like Oxford and Cambridge during the 18th century, when most of the best scientific and scholarly minds were from dissenting academies.

    I am no big fan of Fundamentalist Christianity, but given the claptrap that I know is being taught at once great institutions like Princeton (my Father’s Alma Mater), it is seriously possible that (deranged Creationism included) Bob Jones University provides a better overall education.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  17. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 5/12/2014 @ 7:59 am

    That is a good idea, however the students should be aware that AA RN degrees are considered second-class by many hospitals. The good news for them is that the credits earned in perquisites and the vo-tech nursing degree allow a BSN to be earned rather quickly. In fact, some programs are forming to take an AA RN with experience all the way to a Advanced Nursing degree–the doctor replacement for Obamacare

    iconoclast (ef3927)

  18. I suspect this would be unpopular with gender studies professors but that same purpose could be accomplished by a survey of graduates employed in the field of study they had majored in.

    Comment by Mike K (cd7278) — 5/12/2014 @ 7:50 am

    Since your solution requires political agreement in what universe do you imagine that Democrats in congress would agree to cutting support from their most fervent supporters?

    iconoclast (ef3927)

  19. Good point, but I was thinking of the kids who might be expected to succeed outside the system.

    A four-year Nursing degree can still pay for itself, but we are going to see a collapse among institutions not already focused, not magnet schools, on that path.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  20. My theory is that many of the “black studies” and “womyn’s studies” majors (and other left wing majors) end up working for government, either directly or indirectly at the state, federal or local level. Just my guess. I think there are a lot of people in the government bureaucracy that are very sympathetic to these majors.

    I hope to touch on this down the road. I’m not sure whether I want to spend much time talking about the general left-wing bias in academia since it has been covered so extensively elsewhere, but it does come into play when we consider the various college degrees that are based on victimology and that don’t really prepare a student for any kind of career outside of government advocacy.

    JVW (9946b6)

  21. it is seriously possible that (deranged Creationism included) Bob Jones University provides a better overall education.

    No, it is not. You haven’t ever noticed the Bob Jones students running protein folding simulations to help cure cancer, or the Bob Jones graduates who have meaningfully affected your quality of life in some tangible way, have you? That’s because they don’t exist.

    John Ashcroft’s 2 greatest sins were accepting an honorary degree from these tools and prosecuting Tommy Chong. Idiots.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  22. 20. And, indeed, while they’re still putting on administrators and departments of same at astonishing rates, schools are looking to cut costs via the catalog, circumventing tenure.

    If you’re department is a money loser, it’s time to note the proximity of your desk to the door.

    “A man has got to know his limitations.”

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  23. God bothering christofascists!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. That is a good idea, however the students should be aware that AA RN degrees are considered second-class by many hospitals. The good news for them is that the credits earned in perquisites and the vo-tech nursing degree allow a BSN to be earned rather quickly. In fact, some programs are forming to take an AA RN with experience all the way to a Advanced Nursing degree–the doctor replacement for Obamacare

    This is a great launching point for the argument as to whether “college” should serve to prepare a student for a particular job in a particular field or whether it should be more of a traditional all-encompassing education that would leave a graduate with several avenues that he or she could pursue. One aspect to this argument is the degree to which colleges have dumbed-down the curriculum in order to ensure that they continue to produce the desired number of graduates.

    JVW (9946b6)

  25. God bothering christofascists!

    Racists, too.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  26. Our educational system, beginning in Kindergarten, is a good example of what we can expect with our health care system a few years hence. Most school districts administer their K-12 programs to maximize State and Federal matching grants, educational values not considered. This might seem harmless, but the skills these administrators develop over their careers are useless when it comes to actually teaching children. One result is that inner city public schools are war zones, and hardly gun- and drug free. Police are routinely called in to handle behavior problems that were dealt with by a (male) principal and a paddle 60 years ago. Our “free” university systems have been pillaged by a parasitical class that took over the teachers colleges 80 years ago, and now control what are jokingly called universities. But the money isn’t entirely wasted. The aviation, computer, engineering and science programs attract foreign students by the droves, which may or may not be a good thing. The absence of American students in these programs is mainly a result of the failure of the K-12 system. If you drop by your local community college on a week night, you’ll notice that the best attended classes are GED classes. Algebra I, English, and so on. The good news is that the kids who dropped out of the K-12 system do grow up, and they have the normal allotment of common sense. But they have lost a lot years learning some fairly simple life lessons. You may also notice that the community college is in the process of changing its name to include “university” somewhere in verbage.

    The educational system stumbled out of the bubble stage in the 60′s. It’s more like a hernia now.

    bobathome (413da6)

  27. ==the degree to which colleges have dumbed-down the curriculum in order to ensure that they continue to produce the desired number of graduates.==

    They’ve also managed to creatively stretch out into five and even six years of tuition and loans and housing expense what used to be rather easily achievable for students in four solid years on campus.

    elissa (d97b71)

  28. Schools of Science and Engineering have already noted grants and potential sources are evaporating, going the way of the passenger pigeon.

    So the current frenzy is initiatives with business to provide research expertise, bodies and physical resources in return for contract funds.

    The problem is administrations want to oversee the process, with nothing to bring to the task except obstructionism and fees.

    These projects rely on the same PIs that brought in the grad students, the grants, the multi-tasking facility, and the expertise to attract business.

    Guess what Academia?

    Outside of a handful, you literally have nothing to sell.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  29. “A man has got to know his limitations.”

    “You have to improvise and overcome.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  30. carlitos – Graduates of Bob Jones University along with members of twelve other families secretly control the world, but you did not hear it from me.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. They’ve also managed to creatively stretch out into five and even six years of tuition and loans and housing expense what used to be rather easily achievable for students in four solid years on campus.

    They’ve done that partly by supporting a culture where it’s expected the student spends a significant portion of each week in, ahem, social pursuits. I recall reading in The Daily Bruin about 15 years ago that the median time for a UCLA student to complete his or her undergraduate degree is now five years. If anything, that time period has probably slightly ticked upwards since 1999. When the average student at our most prestigious public universities is extending his undergraduate education by an extra year, that does not bode well for the keeping a college education affordable.

    JVW (9946b6)

  32. 29. This is why I repect and admire your work with our yout.

    They’re going to require confidence, agility and a capacity to endure.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  33. I think there are some schools with a Christian ethos, if not officially religious (or at least “sectarian”), where one can get a very good education, such as Hillsdale.

    I’m looking forward to see explanations as to why the tuition has outpaced inflation by so much. Is it just because they can and they get sloppy with sound management practices? Has there been necessary big capital expenses to modernize?

    I don’t think a big tuition is worth it to sit in intro classes with 300 students and almost no interaction with a faculty member, and on-line classes with supplemental live discussions would be very reasonable.
    I had very little significant contact with full professors through my classes (with a few exceptions). The real advantage for me of a major university was being able to get involved in graduate research groups as an undergrad.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  34. I’m looking forward to see explanations as to why the tuition has outpaced inflation by so much. Is it just because they can and they get sloppy with sound management practices? Has there been necessary big capital expenses to modernize?

    A quick preview of a future post: administrative bloat, lavish construction projects, boutique academic departments, less teaching by tenured faculty. . .

    JVW (9946b6)

  35. Topical post today in the Education Drive blog.

    JVW (9946b6)

  36. I have a question about the student loans.

    Connecting to the money posts from a few days ago where Patterico posted that commercial banks create deposits at the time they create the loans for housing mortgages. Does the same process apply to Student Loans (creating a deposit of money at the time of loan origination)?

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  37. I’ll also add that according to alumni news (not included in this article) the U of I which has always attracted foreign students, especially to its world class computing, engineering and agriculture schools, has more foreign students enrolled than at any time in its history.

    elissa, I’ll betcha too that the U of I also is enrolling more out-of-state students (paying a higher tuition) than at any time in their history too. That is one way that the University of California system is looking to bring in extra revenue.

    JVW (9946b6)

  38. Thank you gary.

    Today’s utes are far removed from the wisdom to be gained from Clint Eastwood’s movies last century such as Dirty Harry or Heartbreak Ridge.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. I think there are some schools with a Christian ethos, if not officially religious (or at least “sectarian”), where one can get a very good education, such as Hillsdale.

    I would agree. I read Imprimis every month. Hillsdale is nothing like the diploma mills.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  40. 4.7% – ages 55+
    4.7% – ages 45-54
    4.9% – ages 35-44
    10.6% – ages 20-24

    Those are reported unemployment rates. And obviously they understate the regressive dystopia nature of the workforces, in that they don’t even measure the many hundreds upon hundreds of thousands (perhaps multiple millions) of young kids who are graduating, then instantly moving back home with their parents, and who don’t bother even searching for work.

    Connect the obvious dots and come to the obvious conclusions. And don’t act all shocked when in a few decades or less we’ve devolved all the way to a 3rd world banana republic. Politics, laws, regulations and policies, they all have severe consequences.

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  41. JVW:

    I would like to add (theorizing) that “black & womyn studies” majors are a feeder major for Law (JD) and MSW (Master of Social Work) degrees. Remember, the MSW is the MBA of the welfare state. They (MSW’s) administer and advocate for continuing programs to serve various populations–all of which vote D. The cry of “Social Justice” then gets a voice in court and other forums.

    Ipso Fatso (10964d)

  42. The two industries where the government is greatly involved, are the two industries which have an insane inflation rate; health care and education.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  43. Hi JVW. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the education bubble. What is fascinating to me is the profiteering that most of these colleges and universities have been crassly engaging in. I haven’t done any in depth investigation but I believe I heard somewhere that tuition costs have been rising at multiples of the inflation rate. When the housing bubble burst, the Fed bailed the big banks and freddie and fannie out. If this bubble does burst, we can expect to see an uprising of debt saddled pissed off young people in active rebellion. You can walk away from your house. You can file bankruptcy if you’re really in bad shape, but that federally enforced student debt might as well be a manacle…or maybe a noose.

    Jack (ff1ca8)

  44. Excellent post, JVW. I am enjoying all the good comments, and I note a certain “collegial” spirit forming here.

    felipe (098e97)

  45. Why did I use quotes around collegial? I guess I was stretching for a pun. Yeah, that’s what is was.

    felipe (098e97)

  46. Comment by JVW (9946b6) — 5/12/2014 @ 10:25 am

    Thank you, looking forward to it.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  47. Good lord-another one bites the dust. “Students” force IMF chief Christine Lagarde out as speaker saying she’s anti-woman.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/12/students-force-female-imf-head-to-cancel-speech-say-shes-anti-women/

    elissa (203189)

  48. I hope you address the issue of how the prevalence of high schoolers going to college has led to a ‘dumbing down’ of the general high school curriculum.

    seeRpea (3b330c)

  49. Congrats on your well-deserved status!

    I’m thinking we will collectively decide, against the Academy’s wishes, to eliminate coursework that is not “on point” in the workplace. A new degree will be fashioned very much like a GED was for high school. It will be accepted as equivalent to a Bachelor’s.

    One thing I have always wondered is why a full Juris Doctor is required to practice law throughout the USA. Why not offer civil degrees, or degrees for “solicitor” work? we could easily eliminate a third year of schooling, could we not? If a given student later wanted full credentials, nothing would prevent that.

    Just as we have transferred a bunch of requirements for an MD’s care to PA’s and nurses, we will do the same for educational credentialism.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  50. I currently teach biology and chemistry part-time in two different colleges. One of the colleges is private, and I am appalled by the lackadaisical attitude of some students who took out loans to attend this university. Some of them were even taking this class for the second time! It’s not enough to say they are “unprepared”: They are abysmally unaware of how unprepared they are. Consequently, administrators find themselves increasingly overwhelmed by complaints by students denouncing the “unfairness” of teachers who are trying to comply with the course objectives. I propose a solution in this blog. Here is the relevant quote:

    Here is my solution: Keep enrollment open because everyone should get a chance to try, regardless of the odds. However, everyone who chooses to go to college has a right to know their odds of finishing college. This can be easily accomplished by having all college enrollees take the SAT (or its equivalent). When they get their scores, the ETS should send them data on their probability of finishing college. If this data does not already exist, I am sure it is easy to compile. The disappointment of learning there is only a 10% chance you will finish college is nothing compared to the hardship of working in McDonald’s to pay off a student loan for classes you never passed.

    In some ways I look forward to the bursting of the bubble because it may be the only way to make the necessary corrections to this sad state of affairs. I strongly believe in the use of standardized exams (like the AP) replacing formal coursework. Having said that, I don’t think online courses can replace the lab experience that are central to science courses.

    Tony (2a43e2)

  51. The K-12 school system is a failure when the two most required classes for college freshman are remedial English and remedial math.

    The fact that students are unable to complete their degree in four years is because they can’t get the classes to graduate in four years. This is yet another sign of bad management in academia.

    When “the government” tries to do good, whatever they get involved in becomes more expensive. School loans actually increase the cost of an “education”. Anything subsidized by the government drives up the cost of what they are subsidizing. Look at housing, look at Obamacare.

    Tanny O'Haley (c0a74e)

  52. 51. Comment by Tanny O’Haley (c0a74e) — 5/13/2014 @ 6:53 am

    The K-12 school system is a failure when the two most required classes for college freshman are remedial English and remedial math. </i.

    A failure as a system

    They don’t teach reading right, and they have Slowth in Arithmetic.

    But there is a tremendous amount of redundancy in the system, and if children encounter at least one good teacher by the 8th grade, or have parents who can teach, they do learn how to read and do calculations.

    The fact that students are unable to complete their degree in four years is because they can’t get the classes to graduate in four years. This is yet another sign of bad management in academia.

    Wouldn’t that be a sign of good management? More money for the college.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  53. The book has considerable autobiography in it, unlike the earlier article, but that autobiography includes a lot about the lack of value of what he got at Rutgers University.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  54. Having already put 2 kids throuh college, I can say that the historical model of the 4 year college degree is no longer worth the investment. Rather than teach critical thinking skills along with courses in a useful major focused on landing a decent job in the field of study, the 4 year Institution is focused on forcing students to pay for politically correct core classes in subjects that are utterly worthless bogus victimology rant fests.
    My 5 remaining children have all been told to go to community college to get the core classes out of the way, before transferring to an institution that teaches the major courses of study for a technical skill for which they have the best chance of being able to feed themselves as adults.

    Pete (c0c53c)

  55. and, for those of you who DO read the occasional Zero Hedge link, moar good news!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-13/student-loans-soar-record-1111-trillion-12-past-year

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  56. Speaking of Kansas, I give you this from 1895:

    (sorry, this was saved in my docs w/o a link)

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895
    Grammar (Time, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
    5. Define case; illustrate each case.
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
    7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
    Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt
    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
    Orthography (Time, one hour)
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
    Geography (Time, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspin wall and Orinoco
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  57. US competency scores announced last week for graduating high school seniors:
    Math – 26%
    Reading – 38%

    Reports in the recent past show that 4 years of college barely move the needle in areas of basic competency.

    Tuition, room and board at a 4 year quality regional university – $50K/yr.

    Yeah there’s nothing wrong with that situation.

    Student debt has been politicized and certain federal bureaucrats are calling for bailouts and wholesale rewriting of the debt terms. Bailouts certainly have proven to be cleansing of fundamental problems in the past haven’t they? (Well, OK then – they surely garner votes from the beneficiaries of the government largess and rescue.)

    The level of student debt per graduate is stifling their ability to make major purchases such as cars, furniture and homes which is dampening economic growth and will for decades to come. But the feds love their control of the institutions of higher learning and the ability to offer debt forgiveness for those graduates willing to obey the government and choose to do the jobs favored by the regime in DC. How could this scheme ever go wrong?

    in_awe (7c859a)

  58. The chart is devastating to the education system.

    Our National Report Card: No Education Progress Since 2009

    Tanny O'Haley (c0a74e)

  59. It’s probably nothing.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-13/rebellion-usa-protesters-attempt-arrest-albuquerque-police-chief

    Arrest the lot, they will be governed and they will like it.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  60. 57. Wonder what the grade might have been for simply affixing ones name?

    Participating has primacy.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  61. 47. I know this has been said, but the end is nigh.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)


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