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  #16  
Old 03-03-2024, 09:31 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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My cousin (from a Penn State obsessed family, as you will find in this neck of the woods) turned down Penn State to go to Westminster (PA), as Westminster gave her practically a free ride and Penn State didn't give her squat.

Re the PA state schools, it hasn't only been the ridiculous building sprees resulting in ridiculous tuition increases, it's also been a diluting of the schools' individuality and unique offerings. It used to be that certain schools were the only ones to offer certain things or be known as good for them. Clarion - library science, Lock Haven - phys ed, IUP - criminology, etc etc. I always thought this was a state enforced thing, but apparently it was just a gentleman's agreement, and gentlemen don't exist anymore. I went to a Clarion alumni thing where they were crowing about the new criminology major, and was just like, why are we doing this? Meanwhile, our communications program, one of the best on the eastern seaboard, had been decimated beyond recognition.

And now Joshie apparently wants to merge all the state schools and community colleges together. 🤬🤬 I give up.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2024, 02:06 AM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Haha 33 I didn’t want to offend you there since we have a small rivalry lol.

But IMO, Slippery Rock took advantage of their strong programs and expanded them, as opposed to trying to add every conceivable major when there’s like five other colleges in a twenty mile radius. They drew out the community health bachelors program (I was in that and it was top notch twenty years ago) and added on a MPH. Most people are going to go on to get their MPH anyway in that field, so why not do all 6 years at the same school with the same (great) faculty?

They also really did amazing things with physical therapy. Even 25 years ago (damn it, I’m old) they were ahead of the game by offering a DPT. It drew in people from across the country then and still does- and out of state tuition dollars outrank in state. They also kind of teamed up athletic training as the undergrad program- which draws in plenty of people on its own and was a great program- and then people try to compete for a slot in the PT program.

They’ve even added a physicians assistant program, which is great!

I’m not saying they haven’t overdone it with the new amenities and fancy buildings…(or maybe I’m just mad that they ripped down my old haunts) but they also expanded programming simultaneously.

It was incredibly dumb and short sighted how a certain governor days past thought he was flexing by cutting school and university budgets. Everyone will save money! Meanwhile, the school districts passed it on in property taxes, and the universities struggled with enrollment. Great idea there

Maybe I’m just in a really positive mood about education since yesterday I found out my student loan balance is officially $0.00 after trying to get PSLF for several years. Go college!!!!!
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  #18  
Old 03-04-2024, 03:55 AM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Congratulations Winter!
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  #19  
Old 03-04-2024, 05:16 AM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Thanks!

PS: MOHELA is evil.
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  #20  
Old 03-04-2024, 08:02 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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An article on the unique position PA schools are in right now: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/...ts-and-funding

Quote:
"Fighting for Scraps in Pennsylvania"

Enrollment in the state has plummeted, but it has one of the highest ratios of institutions to students in the country. The result is fierce competition over a dwindling pool of applicants.
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  #21  
Old 03-04-2024, 10:25 AM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Excellent article, AST. Thanks. So much to think about…

“The entire nation is facing a projected demographic cliff in 2026, but Pennsylvania is on the bleeding edge, hemorrhaging residents faster than 46 other states, according to 2022 census data.“

Yeah, I might be on my way out myself (again)…

“Rural Pennsylvania is not thriving … we wanted to make sure that our students were going to college locally, meaning within 75 miles of home, and then the likelihood of them staying after they graduate goes up exponentially“

This sounds good in theory…but after living in many rural counties over the past twenty years…there are a limited amount of employment opportunities. If the county seat- the happening place- only has a population of 6,000…it’s not going to be able to keep a significant number of college graduates gainfully employed. (Being PA, I feel like I should add the caveat of “unless you want to work in the mining or corrections industries.”)

Other states are offering free tuition. Or, kids can go to OOS schools that are looking to draw in high achievers with large scholarships. My friend’s daughter was one such student; she basically got offered a free ride at USC (South Carolina) and now has an outstanding business degree with zero debt. (And, let’s face it, probably had an overall better experience socially, networking wise and of course…weather wise.)

You leave…then you start to network, build relationships, do internships in your new state. Why come back to a bunch of cornfields after all that?

The #1 thing I tell anyone who asks me for advice on picking a college is- you’re purchasing a product. You’re going to want to get the best bang for your buck…it’s an investment. Compare everything. Get the best deal and shop around. Don’t make an impulsive decision based on emotions (close to BF or home, knowing lots of people). This is your future. Put yourself out there.
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  #22  
Old 03-04-2024, 02:52 PM
shadokat shadokat is offline
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If you're going to a big flagship school, you're gonna be just fine. Kids don't want to go to smaller schools anymore. And that's the projected demographic cliff. It's why NPC has implemented new total setting methods for schools with dropping open house pools. It's why schools are no longer waiting to expand - if the struggling chapter can't catch up, they're going to move ahead without them. Schools like Westminster (or in my neck of the woods, Albright) are offering students full rides just to get them to come there. Many students turn down full rides at those small schools for the big university experience.

As the PA state system, it's FUBAR at this point. PASSHE has lost all integrity because they admit anyone with a pulse, outside of West Chester. Most state schools have 90% acceptance rates. Guess what happens then? You lose any "prestige" you may have had 20 or 30 years ago. In 2010, there were over 84,000 applicants to PASSHE schools, and 61% were accepted. In 2022, there were 59,000 applicants to PASSHE schools and 90% were accepted.

The Allegheny Institute has a great article about PASSHE and comparisons to other PA schools - it ain't pretty.
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  #23  
Old 03-04-2024, 05:44 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Not to mention, they've become suitcase campuses in the extreme- most kids have to travel back home to work. The students don't have any time to get involved in extracurriculars and so they have little to zero loyalty or affection for the school - it's just a place to check off "degree."

I blame this all on the building sprees. I know some of the buildings needed replaced and updated but "if you build it they will come" only works in a movie.
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