The Rising Costs of College

In this it discusses the rising costs of college.

I offer the following.

I am 51, out of work after 30 years in manufacturing engineering and management. Manufacturing has gone elsewhere.I both need to and want to work until close to end of life, but in something more meaningful and relevant to today’s knowledge based society. I have both an engineering degree and an an MBA.

My path is to return to college, full time. There are many reasons to do this. One is economic. The cost of living at a public university campus, is less than $20,000 per year, including housing, transportation, food, tuition, entertainment and health insurance. With conservative returns on savings and remaining home equity along with a part time, low income wage, life is financially sustainable and a pretty nice place to live.

Since this will take care of the basics at a low cost, it opens opportunities to do more “meaningful” things in life, those things that I so much wanted to do when I was young, like save the world, but was distracted by other, more important things like a career, marriage, raising children, buying and maintaining a home and cars.

I have a social responsibility to our children, to remain functional in today’s society, and that requires abandoning the past to enable a future.
To do this, I need to reduce my consumption, as my assets have now become wasteful liabilities. I no longer need the house, the private yard, the water that goes on that yard, or a gardener to mow it for me. I don’t need 3 cars or the insurance on them. I don’t need my own cable, internet and phone or to consume electricity, gas for this big house.

While I will be getting a degree in “whatever” during the day because it is affordable, my night time passion will be to expand paths for others to live inexpensively on urban university campuses, creating social communities that enables others to do more meaningful things they want and we all need. I know it sounds like an enormous, perhaps absurd task. It is perhaps as large as changing our society from 40% farmers to less than 2%, or from 26% manufacturers to 8%, or the growth in lifelong learning or the growth of knowledge workers, health care, real estate developers. As with many of these changes, it is not I expect to create them. They are are already available. I hope to help a few others wake up and become aware of them, rather than hanging on to the past.

Oh, by the way, I will need some college room mates to help with this.  If you like the topic, lets blog at
I promise not to try and take your money.

50+ baby boomers should return to a university lifestyle and we should build the housing to support them.

Recent college board information shows that the total cost per yer to attend public universities is less than $20,000 per year, for the total cost of living. This is a bargain lifestyle, relative to hanging onto homes that are no longer needed. Homes become liabilities if they are more than a person needs.

A university lifestyle includes shared housing, public transportation, lower energy and natural resource consumption.

Returning 50 year olds, with life experiences could be used to keep staff and faculty costs low.(if unions would let them) They would be at school for reasons other than a paycheck. They would be their to retool, remain functional for another 30 or 40 years, rather than a social entitlement burden. The would be their to solve the problems of the world, without more pressing issues of marriage, children, buying homes in the suburbs, and more vehicles to get them to and from work. Perhaps, armed with real life experiences, and inter generational classes, the quality of education would improve.

In the past, we put people to work building infrastructure. That worked because on the skills of the workforce at the time, which was manual labor. It worked for people coming off of farms. We are a knowledge based society now, with more than 40% of the baby boomers who have college degrees. Try putting a shovel in the hands of a 50 year old with a master’s degree and see how far it gets you.

Certainly, college is a high cost for youth with no assets. We have a social responsibility to keep costs under control, using talented people who can educate youth, without demanding high salaries. This would be possible if the 50+ people would return to college life, consume less share resources and contribute more.

More on this here


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