Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Different Kind of College?

The New York Times has a fascinating article about Berea College, a school that has no tuition, but expects students to work 10 hours a week. The school has a healthy endowment of $1 billion, but seems to use it for supporting education rather than fancy buildings.

I never heard of the college before last year when I saw a flyer on the Internet for small summer program to study imperialism and then spent time with families in Mexico. One of my students got accepted and was enthusiastic about the program, but I have never thought to inquire about the college.

I assume that without tuition at the college lacks the bloated bureaucracy that characterizes most higher education today. The article might just be excessive hype, I hope that is not the case.


Anonymous said...

Great article. JMU's endowment is big enough to support programs like this, maybe not for *everyone* but for some students. said...

This is certainly admirable. For the record, Berea is a fairly religiously oriented Christian college, although non-denominational and fairly progressive. It was founded in the 1850s by abolitionists and was the first racially integrated college or university in the US South.

spencer said...

My parents went to Berea during the depression.

Think of it this way, if you can afford to go to college anywhere else they will not take you. Everybody works their way through school and many of the jobs most colleges give to regular employees are taken on a part time basis by students.

My parents were school teachers and made too much money for Berea to accept my sister.

The typical student probably was the valedictorian at some small, poor mountain high school in Kentucky or the surrounding states.

Graduates do a great job of supporting the school and donate much more than other middle class college graduates.