If a new bill passes you or your relatives may be able to earn a four-year bachelor's degree for only $10,000, including textbooks, for the entire four years, not per year. You'll be able to owe less than your friends whose parents are paying thousands of dollars per year or with financial aid are building up a loan in financial aids similar to what it would cost to buy a private home.
There's a catch...You have to major in a science, math, engineering, or technology. The trick is to find out whether health-care careers fall under the category of science so you could benefit by preparing for a job that's usually a little less competitive to find than a job in engineering or technology. The trick is to choose which science, math, engineering, or technology courses in a degree program that leads to a job after graduation.
You're major and internship experience can determine whether there's a job waiting
A degree in theoretical physics is less likely to lead to a job in the field of your choice than a degree in chemical engineering technology or medical technology. And graduation from medical school, of course will probably lead to a job somewhere quicker than a degree in general biology, unless you have other technical skills in demand, such as courses and internships in bioinformatics and statistics or forensic DNA testing skills so you know what to do with lab equipment.
So if you're only going to college for four years and not planning on graduate school (or are unable to get into medical school) getting a degree in a science or technology needs to be planned with how useful will the courses be after graduation if you are able to get a four-year college education for only $10,000 total -- if the bill even passes in the legislature.
With the cost of going to college already more than $30,000 a year at many California campuses, is it possible to earn a bachelor's degree for just $10,000 – total? Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, hopes so, according to the January 3, 2012 Sacramento Bee article, by Laurel Rosenhall, "Is it possible to earn a B.A. for $10,000?" A new California lawmaker's bill is pushing the goal of earning a college degree for only $10,000 -- for the entire four years, including textbooks, but not room and board expenses.
Bill would create a pilot program in California to earn a four-year college degree for $10,000
Borrowing an idea being promoted by Republican governors in Texas and Florida, the GOP assemblyman has introduced a bill that would create a pilot program in California for what he's billing as a $10,000 bachelor's degree. The degree would be available to students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math disciplines. Assembly Bill 51 calls for closer coordination between high schools, community colleges, and California State University campuses and targets three regions for the pilot program: Chico, Long Beach, and Turlock. But will the program ever come to Sacramento?
In the meantime, participating students would earn a certain amount of college credit in high school through Advanced Placement classes and greater access to community college courses. The bill calls for participating community college students to go to school full time. That's means if you started in community college, you couldn't begin part time so you could earn some money working full time and go to school part time after work.
Tuition at CSU costs more than $20,000 a year now plus $2,000 for books and fees
Tuition at CSU currently would cost you more than $20,000 for the four years, plus around $2,000 each year for campus fees and textbooks. That doesn't include your room and board or other living expenses if you didn't live and eat meals at home, that is with your parents or other relatives where you don't pay rent. Presently, tuition at CSU is $5,472 a year. But if you found a college with the proposed degree, that $10,000 for the entire four years of college would include textbooks.
Will such a bill pass in California? At least it will help middle class students who are left at the end of four years of college with huge bills for loans, bills such as $80,000 or more at private colleges that run about $20,000 to $30,000 each year or more.
Students must start paying back loans after graduation, but finding a job is hard if you don't have the job skills and the right major that's wanted by employers
College costs that hit a student right after graduation to pay back loans sometimes are the cause of other problems that lead to the downfall of students who get themselves into debts they can't replay because the jobs they're finding don't last or don't pay enough. Students often find they can't pay rent, food, and transportation costs and pay their loans back, usually because they can't find work paying enough.
The reason why the $10,000 for four years of college 'bill' applies to science, technology, math, or engineering students, is because those majors are supposed to teach job skills, or you're supposed to ask for courses within those majors that do prepare you to gain job skills that are in demand in the fields that are hiring. Say you want a journalism career writing about science. Then you take a science, engineering, math, or technology major and add a few courses in digital journalism or medical writing, science writing, and technical writing. At least you have job skills in two areas -- writing and practical technical skills.
Entry level jobs in science, math, and technology pay more than those in liberal arts
You're not going to find many chemical engineering or medical technology or health biophysics or statistics majors working in the same entry level jobs as you'd find history, art, or English majors. And many business majors who didn't specialize in accounting and finance aren't going to find the same type of jobs as the mechanical or electrical engineering majors, even though competition is always keen for those types of jobs as well. But if you major in a subject that looks glamorous like wine making or beer brewing, don't expect to get a cushy job when frequently you'll be hired as a technician to take measurements.
In the case of science majors, sometimes the jobs or fellowships are available, where they're not available in liberal arts which instead often offer unpaid internships on publications or as interns to various government analysts or aides. The easier the major, chances are the fewer the jobs and the keener the competition because those easier majors require less rigorous study in high technology, science, engineering, or math. But even in engineering, you have to know where the jobs are.
There are more jobs in recycling, for example for mechanical engineering majors than for people with a four-year degree in theoretical physics. So choose your majors wisely, if you want to take advantage of the $10,000 college program.
The bill is supposed to be the start of a revolution regarding college costs
The goal for parents is to have their kids have a higher standard of living than they have, which is difficult when students are saddled with debt after school. College has to be affordable for those who put in the study time for subjects that require serious study. But will the bill pass? Can the Republican's bill can make any headway in California's Democratic-controlled Legislature? That remains to be seen.
There may be a lot of ways to lower the cost of college with more scholarships for middle-class students. The Democrats have their own suggestion: more online courses. You can do a lot of courses that don't require hands-on people with online courses.
You can't do it in a lot of courses in nursing majors where much of the work is on working directly with people. But you can do quite a bit of online teaching of courses in science, technology, math and engineering. And you can do online courses in any of the liberal arts such as history, film or TV and radio production, communications, English, journalism, languages, religious studies, or social sciences. See, Frustrated College Graduate - Career Advice | Indeed.com.
Music, art, and creative writing students often are left to take word processing or sales jobs
That leaves out what happens to majors in music and art, dance and drama, home economics-consumer science where jobs are more difficult to find and are based on auditions or portfolios and creative abilities. Then again, you have the teaching majors. Who's going to hire all the education graduates who want to teach in elementary or high school, subjects not in high demand?
There's often a glut of graduates looking for government jobs in food sciences
A shady area is food science, nutrition, dietetics, and wine production, where jobs may start out as technicians after college rather than working in hospitals with special diets, unless you have an advanced degree in genetic and metabolic nutrition and passed the national exam for dietitians.
And even in that major, jobs are few and harder to find than jobs in chemical engineering. Even pharmacy majors have trouble finding work. See, Lies about pharmacist job market - Pharmacist Jobs | Indeed.com. Some cities have a glut of pharmacy graduates, whereas in some rural towns, pharmacy jobs are in demand.
The same goes for nurses with two-year degrees instead of four-year degrees. See, Why New Nurses Can't Find Jobs (No, Really) | The Health Care Blog. Both those majors would be classified by many as science majors. The question is if you major in sciences, which sciences are in high demand where you want to work, and which subjects are you able to pass? See, Five College Degrees That Could Pay You Back - Yahoo! Education.
You have people with a master's degree in economics who can't find a job after graduation. The whole idea if you go to college is to find out what majors are hiring, where, and for how long before the market is saturated with majors in the same subject.
Can online education lower the costs of getting a degree that leads to a job and independence?
Online education is another lower-cost alternative, if the online courses are less costly than classroom seat courses and the school is accredited. Right now, CSU hasn't taken a stand on the bill. Parents would love to see better organization in K-12 schools, community colleges and universities.
And some parents who don't like their children bullied at school would enjoy more high-school classes online that let students advance in subjects they do well in, such as more math courses, training in job skills, and internships that lead to real careers. Others want more home schooling opportunities that are affordable and also give students a chance to meet together so kids can make friends.
Who is most likely to pass such a bill?
Who's going to pass a bill such as this? Those who want educational partnerships? Those who want students to go to college full time instead of work all day and take one course at night? One goal is to increase graduation rates.
Another is to make college affordable. Parents and grandparents remember how inexpensive college was in the 1950s. For example, when I began college in 1959, college didn't cost very much, and students with a grade of 90 in their high-school averages went to college free in my neck of the woods.
In the old days, not many people had to borrow money for college when it was free to those with excellent high school averages
No one had to borrow a lot of money to go to school, and textbooks were cheap as well. But that was before computers were used in most colleges. The issue is not all college majors prepare students for jobs earning the same amount of money.
If someone spent four years reading books in the public library compared to spending four years of college reading the same books in a literature major, the education would be the same. But the jobs available to each and the pay would be different at that time. Newspaper reporters decades ago could work their way up to editor from reporter on a high school diploma.
Now, unpaid interns with masters degrees in communications are lucky if they can find work in their major. But if you majored in engineering, pre-medical studies that included a major in biochemistry or biology and anatomy/physiology and a minor in chemistry, followed by medical school, or nursing in those days, you'd have a job where you could climb the ladder, depending upon your innovation and dedication in your field.
Keen competition for jobs slap students in the face
In the old days pre-1960, a high-school graduate could support a family on one income and buy a home and a car. Today, the students have to overcome not only keen competition for a steady job, but old age discrimination that begins at age 35 in technology and engineering as more jobs are outsourced overseas in technology, animation art, and engineering. The exception is in medicine. Today, it usually takes two wage earners to live at a middle-class level, unless the primary wage earner is in a professional or managerial job and has the type of work skills in high demand and not competing with outsourced labor sent overseas.
You need a doctor, nurse, medical technologist, and physical therapist living in the same town, and you need people to design improved technology. The trick is to find a field where the competition isn't so high as to screen you out after you've built up a lifetime of debt on getting your degree, job skill, and experience. Now the question is, will the bill pass?