I just started college at the University of Central Florida 3 weeks ago and have already experienced some of the problems with higher education.
Applicability and Relevance
Chances are, I will never use anything I learn in my first semester. And I think that’s ridiculous. Classes aren’t relevant enough to engage students. I thought test-taking was over and I couldn’t be more wrong. The entire focus of college, besides moneymaking, is on test-taking. I fill up more tests than I deliver speeches in my public speaking course.
Gen Ed Courses
Why are they still required for a degree? Thankfully I have AP credits which get me out of the large majority of these. But I’m still stuck with Humanities. I would much rather learn about career and life skills than I would Greek and Roman literature. No one in my class chose to take the class. We’re all there because it satisfied the history requirement.
This is the 21st century. Literally everything is online. I don’t see the point in requiring students to purchase $500+ in textbooks EVERY semester. And don’t even think of buying that old edition for $10, the new edition is required. What’s the difference? The book publishers switched the chapters around. Unethical business is what this is.
Cost and Payment
The University of Central Florida (UCF) offered me loans as financial aid. Their interest rates were higher than those from banks. What foolishness is this! Yes, you can put off paying for college loans until after graduation. But the interest will pile up over those 4+ years and the bill comes the day after you graduate. Don’t have a job? Oh well. Can’t pay up? Too bad. And you can’t remove them by filing for bankruptcy either. The only way out is to pay. College, first and foremost, is a business. A very successful, yet unethical, business.
A UCF advisor told me that I couldn’t major in both Computer Science and Design and still graduate within 4 years. I believe that if you’re paying to attend an institution, you should learn whatever you want and get credit for it as well.
My vision for the future of higher education will tackle these major problems in detail. So look out for that at a later date. ~ Imtiaz Majeed