The Search for Value

If you were to purchase a $100 juicer, you would expect that juicer to perform to its value. You would have expectations for that juicer that far exceed the expectations of a $20 juicer. If you purchased a $50,000 juicer, you would expect that monster to juice entire apple groves. The higher the price, the higher the expectation. The basic expectations of any product are usually advertised well; if they were not, then the product would be a scam and the business would fail. We can do a fair job determining the real value of a $100 juicer by reading its advertisements and reviews, and if it does not meet our expectations we can usually return it for a refund. Typically, we can grasp the true value of a product before we buy it. But this is not the case with some modern-day college programs.

Unlike the company selling the $100 juicer, some colleges don’t tell you the true value of their programs upfront. You may determine the value over time, after you have completed the program and took on a lot of tuition debt. There seems to be a college popping up every week, and more and more of them are for-profits who construe the meaning of “value”. Some of these colleges are accredited by reputable agencies, and others are not. Colleges, for-profit and non-profit, are still spending an immense amount of money on marketing, as they want to loudly convey the message, “We have value!” But what is a college’s true value, and how can you determine it will be the right value for you?

Real quick, let’s reveal what many colleges are saying about their value. Far too many colleges are making the misleading claim, “We are of great value because we’ll work around your schedule, land you your dream job, connect you with a network of professionals, give you real-world professors, teach you relevant information, and accommodate your needs.” This obviously isn’t an actual quote, but it might as well be. Just view any of the college ads during early afternoon or late night television. I’m sure you’ll definitely see a few during the Judge Judy show or Cops. Side note: Don’t attend a college that advertises on television during the Judge Judy show, after midnight, that follows a loan service commercial, etc…let’s just say, don’t attend a college that regularly advertises on television.

Once you enroll at one of these all-for-profit colleges you’ll quickly find out that they don’t work around your schedule, they won’t accommodate your every need (especially if you have unique needs pertaining to a disability), they won’t connect you with an extensive network of professionals, and they won’t land you your dream job. They won’t, because they can’t. They can’t, because they have to abide by certain rules and regulations set by accrediting agencies, their states, and the Department of Education. They simply don’t have the resources to deliver what they indirectly and directly promise – and as mentioned, they don’t have the resources because most of their profit is going toward marketing, advertising, and recruiting costs. And the instructors? Well, you may be stuck with an assistant professor, or a professor who just does not have the time to teach and is being pressured by the university to focus on enrollment numbers instead of quality instruction. Keep in mind that most professors today are adjunct, so they’re busy with their professional and personal lives.

There are plenty of colleges that are resourceful and place students first before operating costs and even revenue; but you have to do your due diligence in finding a school’s true value.

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