Monday, October 31, 2005

My first midterm at the U of O

Robin's Commentary

Well I just finished my first midterm at the University of Oregon and I will admit that my time there has been rather interesting to say the least.

Of course, before you register and you go to all the seminars and listen to the sales pitches and talk to a number of people, and they all welcome you with open arms and tell you everything that they can do for you... only to find that is a different story if you're returning student (More on that later)

Putting the fear of God into you before a test...

Apparently, dishonesty, lack of trust and cheating is a major problem at the University of Oregon, or least according to my instructor who told us the following just as we are about to begin the midterm.

"For the next hour and a half, while you are taking your tests, I will be sitting at my desk playing a game on my computer on Pogo.com. Occasionally, I will be looking up and I had better see your eyes in one of three places... looking at your paper, looking forward or looking at me because if your eyes are anywhere else, we are going out into the hallway to talk about cheating."

This is college life? I thought we are all adults here.

Needless to say, for the next hour and a half while I was taking my test, I was afraid to move.

The returning student...

If you ever had been to school before and have accumulated ANY college credits and are thinking about returning to school and being on financial aid, seriously consider a technical college. In the long run, it is a lot cheaper.
.
Ever since I returned to school two years ago, I have spent the last year and a half battling financial aid because I went to Lane Community College 30 years ago and earned 65 credits. I also earned extra credits by taking other classes during my lifetime to improve my job skills and from on-the-job training that was contracted to Lane Community College from my employer.

What's the big deal?

They count ALL OF THEM for your lifetime attempted credits!

Short example... it takes 90 credits to receive an associate's degree, if you paid for 80 of those credits out of your pocket and then decide to go for the last 10 credits on financial aid, you will find yourself filing an appeal and begging for forgiveness.

Next, my visit to the U of O academic advising (choke)counselor.

Counselor:" I see you have 145 credits and will be graduating soon."
Robin: "no, U of O disallowed 53 credits, which puts me at junior level (92 credits) but according to the academic requirements for a bachelors degree, I am a freshman."
Counselor: (looking puzzled) "but you have all these credit, you should be getting your bachelors soon."
Robin: "this is because you are looking at my LIFETIME ATTEMPTED CREDITS, and 65 of them from 1975 are worthless."
Counselor: (looking even more puzzled) "I see, well looking at your age (49) and the fact that you will have 5-6 more years here, you're going to be about $100,000 in debt and personally I wouldn't do it."
Robin: "I understand that I'm going into a lot of debt, but forgetting about the amount of money that I'm going to have to pay, I came here to discuss a plan with you about an academic path to my goal in media, in particular broadcast. Can you help me set up a plan for this?"
Counselor: "I really would not do it, you're going to be working poor."
Robin: (confused) "never mind about the money part, is there any courses that you offer in this area?"
Counselor: "no, my advice to you is to quit now. Finish your associate's degree at Lane Community College, and call it good. You will have a better chance of getting a job with your associates degree without occurring a huge debt."

Thanks, I feel a lot better now.

Gee, and they wonder why I am not overly excited about being back in school.

in my opinion,both Lane Community College and the University of Oregon are designed for first-time students (younger) and based on my experience, if I was able to do it over again, I would go to a technical College in Portland.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Gullyborg said...

If I were in charge, there would huge revisions to the financial aid system. For one thing, there would be no "lifetime" credits. Credits would be rolled off at 10 years, since most colleges no longer accept your credits once they are that old. For another, there would be big increases in the maximum loan amounts to reflect the increases in both tuition and cost of living. But the biggest change would be to transition from a federal loan to a state loan. Where in the Constitution is the federal government empowered to spend money on your education? By making it a state-controlled issue, each state could modify it to fit the real-life costs and policies of their own state schools.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Diesel said...

Gully, doesn't the Constitution speak to "promoting the general welfare" of the citizens of the U.S.? Off the top of my head, this seems to be the only justification for tuition grants/loans that can be taken from the Constitution.

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