Saturday, May 02, 2009

Free College?

I'd never before tonight heard of Berea College, but the deal it offers is pretty good:

At Berea, which was founded in 1855 as the first integrated college in the South, all 1,530 students work at least 10 hours a week in a campus or service job, earning $3.80 an hour and four years of free tuition. Eighty percent of the school's operating costs are funded by its endowment and the rest comes from donations....

5 comments:

mazenko said...

Love it. Absolutely love it.

When I was in Asia, I was so impressed with the fact that the schools employ no janitors or cafeteria workers. (Maintenance is obviously a different issue). The students effectively took care of the tasks as part of their day, and the schools get much less dirty during the day if the students know they are cleaning it. Of course, these countries have much more civic pride (and less feeling that they are above helping the community of which they are a member), than we do. No parents there would argue, "My child isn't cleaning a toilet." Can you imagine the cries of oppression from the masses?

At my high school the marketing class/club runs one of our cafeterias. What a great idea. How much could this market-based internship idea being incorporated across the board? Could students intern with the secretaries? Teachers? Maintenance workers? Nurses?

Great post, Darren. I hope this generates some serious discussion.

David said...

mazenko...for real fun, colleges could let students (biz-school & economics) help manage the university's endowment portfolio, along with the professors of these subjects and limited outside help.

Rho said...

I've visited Berea; it is a wonderful small town and the college has wonderful shops with weaving. pottery, art work, etc. by the students. Look at their admission policy--you can't go there if your family income is above a certain level. It has been a blessing for Appalachian students.

Cowboylogic said...

There are other colleges using the same philosophy as Berea. A friend of mine went to College of the Ozarks in Branson MO. Students not only are required to work to for tuition and meet certain income levels, but there are relatively strict(but obtainable) moral codes to live up to. The school is funded through grants and church based donations. My friend now works there as a recruiter, so she paints a positive picture of it, but to avoid the debt associated with college, it sounds like a great deal. I'm sure there are plenty more of these schools out there.

Imee said...

Me neither. I only heard about Berea College through the Yahoo News front page. I think what they're doing is a good thing. Free college can help lift the (mainly financial) burden off students' parents in so many ways.