Thursday, January 19, 2012

assignment to accompany "College, Inc." documentary. Write a letter to miguel or design an informative flyer for our counseling office.


I know you’ve been encouraging me to get off my butt and go to college. I want to go but it’s difficult. I have to work because now that I’ve graduated my parents say I have to “contribute” or move out. So how do I work and go to college at the same time?

My cranky English teacher back at MVH always said that I should never go to a college that has to advertise or send out “sales-people” recruiters. But I met a really nice person who has convinced me that ____________ University would be good for me. It has lots of online classes. She says I can finish college more quickly and easily on a flexible schedule. Many of the classes are online. It’s expensive—but I get financial aide.

Should I go? Or should I listen to MVH teachers and go to community college and then transfer to San Diego State or UCSD. Or UCLA? Or Berkeley?

The recruiter, Sirena, is really pretty and really nice. Hard to decline her offers.

Help me figure this out.

Miguel Paniagua Salsipuedes Cienfuegos Buenaventura
Your assignment: Write an informative response to your friend Miguel.

• watch “College, Inc.” (the documentary on for-profit colleges that aired on PBS. Embedded below)
• take careful notes
• use evidence both statistical and anecdotal in your letter to help Miguel make an informed decision.

Consider the following:
• How much does U of Phoenix spend on marketing?
• How much does U of Phoenix spend on faculty?
• How has Grand Canyon U grown so quickly?
• Why is accreditation worth so much (to the investors?)
• Is a student a customer? Is an education a product?
• What is revealed in the “perfume” example? (as explained by former U of Phoenix admin-guy)
• Is an education something one should “shortcut.”
• How much debt should one take on for college?
• Who profits from student debt? Who suffers?
• Can one “get out of” student debt eventually? Bankruptcy?
• Do you think the wealthy investors who profit from for-profit colleges would send their children to one?
• Should rich people profit from the debt of working people—especially debt incurred in trying to educate themselves?

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