Why does college have to break the bank?

Perhaps one of the scariest and most important decisions anyone has to make in their lifetime is what to do with themselves after high school. For many young adults, especially here at Prep, attending college is the assumed answer, but this begs a much more complex question: which one? The U.S. Department of Education formally lists over 3,000 four-year institutions high school seniors have to choose from, making their decision, at a minimum, overwhelming. On top of this, the cost of attending these schools seems hardly affordable, as many schools have over $40,000 annual price tags, while the average American household brings in just under $60,000 per year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the cost of a four-year diploma has risen by 376 percent since 1984. But why has receiving just an undergraduate degree become so expensive over the last 32 years?

While there are certainly a number of factors that have led such high costs for a diploma, one of the biggest has been the focus on campus amenities. A paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) suggests that schools are devoting lager and larger amounts of money into non-academic projects, such as recreation centers, sports teams, and other luxuries. Did your first choice school just put in a $100 million basketball court? You are most likely directly paying for it. This trend is especially present in schools less focused on their academic reputation and more on showing off the beauty or aesthetic attraction of their campus. Schools are tending to brag more about the size of their football stadium than their graduate job placement percent, and the home pages of college websites show Olympic-sized swimming pools while photos of classrooms are several clicks away. This sudden focus on non-academic spending is likely a consequence of a shift in how students view attending college. Instead of strictly being a means to obtaining a better career, attending a university is seen as a four-year, overnight country club or five-star resort and spa. More research by NBER only confirms this loss of focus on academic performance, as dropout rates are only going up. Students are increasingly choosing schools based on football rankings and recreational basketball rather than job opportunities, and as a result, colleges will only charge more and more to improve their teams and gymnasiums.

Another major contributor to the dramatic rise in tuition is government issued student loans. While providing lower interest rates to give more students opportunities to receive a higher education, it has brought with it huge downside. A separate study conducted by NBER points to the increase in the number of loans issued to students as well as a raising of limits on how much can be borrowed. As the government continuously gives more and more money away, universities realize students are willing to use all of the money they received towards college, so it is only rational for colleges to keep raising tuition costs. Because of this, the Pew Research Center now estimates student loan debt to be over $1.3 trillion. This crisis is only becoming worse, but as voter demographics from the United States Elections Project shows, college age voter turnout is significantly lower than any other age group, giving congressional representatives little reason to address the issue. There appears to be no obvious solution to this enormous issue. Although some have called for massive debt forgiveness from the federal government, this would likely have economic ramifications much worse than the current crisis.

As college becomes more and more expensive, many high school students are justifiably discouraged about their future opportunities. While college can be quite costly, a diploma from a university is becoming increasingly necessary to ensure economic stability, and it appears that the benefits of having the right degree still outweigh the extreme costs of tuition. However, students must continue to make important choices about where to attend or if they should even attend college at all, a decision that will have an immense influence on the rest of their lives.

This article was created by the Cathedral Prep Economics Club. Our mission is to create school awareness and spark interest in real world economic principles by breaking down relevant events within the economy. We are always open to committed and interested new members. If this sounds appealing to you, please contact Mr. Pituch for more information. 

2017 Prep Open House recap

Cathedral Prep’s Open House is an opportunity for prospective students to visit the school and visit all its interesting qualities. Each component of Prep’s defining qualities were showcased in various areas throughout the school. The building was in tip top shape, looking its best for the families that were touring. 

Teachers talked about their classes and essential curriculum they provide. All classes ranging from the science wing to the English rooms put on their best presentation for these parents. Volunteers in the science wing showed off the various labs that they do in class. One big component for all classrooms was to talk about how the iPads are integrated within the curriculum. 

Additionally, Prep’s sports teams and various clubs/activities presented themselves to the families. All of Prep’s sports teams were in the gym: coaches and players from each respective team had kids sign up to receive notifications and updates. Complementary gifts were an enticing bonus. The various clubs and activities had presentations in the library. Student representatives explained the various things that those clubs do and the service they provide to the school. 

Prep takes pride in providing a fantastic open house to leave students with a lasting impression. Many student volunteers are required to be at the forefront of this operation. Each area had students doing their best to make Prep an enticing opportunity. Prep senior Alex Welz stated, “Open House is an exciting time for Prep’s students to step up and keep Prep’s enrollment going.” 

For many families, open house is a defining event for undecided students. The intention is to provide an introduction to what Prep is all about. This year’s open house should be looked back as a moment that sparked a student’s decision to become a member of Prep’s brotherhood.

Cyclones upset Sooners in Big 12 shocker

The Oklahoma Sooners hosted the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday. The game turned out to be the biggest upset of the year thus far. Oklahoma was a whopping 31-point favorite coming into this game. They were the number 3 ranked team in the country and had a pretty impressive resume with a win against Ohio State on the road by double digits. Oklahoma’s quarterback, Baker Mayfield, was getting a lot of Heisman talk this year, too. 

Iowa State came into this game without their starting quarterback, Jacob Park, who took a leave of absence. Kyle Kempt, a redshirt senior, had to take over for Park. To no one’s surprise, Oklahoma fired out of the gate and took a 14-0 lead. At the half score was 24-13 Oklahoma. Iowa State had kept themselves in the game up to this point, but they didn’t look in control. 

Iowa State started the second half off with a field goal to make it a one possession game. Halfway through the third quarter a huge momentum change happened. Oklahoma’s freshmen running back, Trey Sermon, fumbled at the ISU 6-yard line. Kempt took advantage of this and drove the ISU offense down the field. Marchie Murdock caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Kempt to put them within two points. Iowa State converted the two point conversion, and the game was tied at the end of the third. 

Oklahoma got into field goal position the very next drive, but it did not work out as junior kicker Austin Seibert missed a field goal. Kempt and the Iowa State offense put together an electric touchdown drive on a 57-yard pass to Trever Ryen. Oklahoma managed to respond with a touchdown to tie the game at 31. With less than 3 minutes left in the game Kempt threw the soon to be game-winning to touchdown pass to Allen Lazard. Oklahoma turned it over on downs the next drive, which sealed the game for the Cyclones. 

Baker Mayfield finished 24/33 for 306 yards and threw for 2 touchdowns. This loss will definitely hurt Mayfield’s chances at the Heisman this year. The winning quarterback Kyle Kempt finished the game 18/24 for 343 yards and 2 touchdowns. This ended Iowa State’s 18-game losing streak against the Sooners. Oklahoma’s playoff chances have shrunk as this loss dropped them all the way down to #12.

Las Vegas massacre deadliest in U.S. history

On October 1, 2017, the United States of America witnessed the largest shooting massacre inflicted by an individual in the history of the nation. 58 people were killed with more than 500 injured. It occurred during a Jason Aldean concert right on the strip of Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. The shooter was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock who was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., Paddock began firing from his room. A nearby hotel security guard was shot with one of the shots in his leg and notified the front desk. Meanwhile, spectators of the concert believed the gun shots to be fireworks or some kind of tech related effect to the music. Eventually, police began to urgently move citizens out of the area as the shooting continued. Law enforcement was confused as to how many shooters there were and where the shots were coming from. Meanwhile, the injured security guard was able to grab an officer’s attention and informed him of the shooter’s room.

SWAT immediately evacuated all hotel stayers and breached Paddock’s door with explosives, only to find him dead in his room. He is believed to have shot himself in the head before coming in contact with the law. Paddock accumulated, in total, 23 firearms in his apartment upon his arrival. All guns have been determined to have been legal and acquired in a justified manner. However, advances may have been placed on some of the weapons to increase their fire rates. Authorities also recovered scrap paper of Paddock’s calculating the distance and trajectories he would need to overcome or out-maneuver.

No one is sure of the motive yet. Paddock was a 65-year-old male who was married twice with no children and was an accountant. Authorities have not identified the action as domestic terrorism yet. Overall, the situation is beyond tragic.

Please keep those affected in mind during these times of sorrow and tribulations.

Top Three Winners of the 2017 NBA Offseason

If one word was used to describe the 2017 offseason, it would be “historic.” The fluctuation of talent that occurred on each team this season is nothing short of remarkable. While some teams may have missed out on great opportunities, other franchises took full advantage of the occurrences this offseason. The following teams are the top performers of this year’s offseason. 

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
    When it was reported that general manager David Griffin was being let go by the Cavaliers organization, the media was quick to criticize owner Dan Gilbert. These criticisms were intensified when Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving stated that he wanted to be traded. But the new general mananger, Koby Altman, stepped up and completely reloaded the Cavs’ roster.To start the offseason, Altman was able to pick up a former MVP, Derrick Rose, who most recently played point guard for the New York Knicks. Rose averaged 18 points last season, while finishing first in the league last season for step back jump shot field goal percentage. Following this move, Altman was also able to sign a versatile defender in Jeff Green, along with Jose Calderon, a solid player to come off the bench.

    Eventually, Altman was able to find a very beneficial trade offer for Kyrie Irving. In exchange for Irving, the Boston Celtics would send Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, and the Brooklyn Nets’ first round pick to Cleveland. This trade was a complete steal for the Cavs. Not only did Cleveland gain Isaiah Thomas, who averaged 28.9 points per game and finished fifth in last year’s MVP voting), but they also gained a great shooter and defender in Jae Crowder. While Žižić isn’t much of a pickup, he is only 20 and has potential to be a solid player. And because Brooklyn is projected to only win about 30 games this season, the Cavaliers can potentially get a great player in next season’s draft.

    If you thought the Cavalier’s offseason couldn’t get any better, you are wrong. To cap off this amazing turnaround, Cleveland was able to sign Dwyane Wade. Although Wade is aging and is no longer a superstar, he is still able to average 18 points and shoot the ball. Not only that, but he is best friends with Lebron James. This combination may not be the same as it was in Miami, but it is undeniable that this chemistry will be deadly for any team facing the Cavaliers.

  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
    If there was any team in the NBA that knew how to rebound from losing it’s best player, it would be OKC. When future Hall of Famer and former MVP Kevin Durant announced his decision to go to the Golden State Warriors, Thunder fans were devasted. But OKC point guard Russell Westbrook proved to be unfazed by this decision, responding by averaging a triple double and winning MVP the following season. Although the Thunder lost in the first round of the playoffs, it did not stop them from rebuilding.To start, they drafted a sleeper pick in Terrance Ferguson. Ferguson played in Australia last season, and although he had a poor season there, he still shows glimpses of becoming a great player in the NBA. After the draft, the Thunder desperately looked for a way to surround Westbrook with stars. Out of nowhere, Oklahoma City made a blockbuster trade with the Indiana Pacers. In exchange for Victor Oladipo and Damontas Sabonis, the Thunder would receive superstar forward Paul George. George averaged 24 points last season while shooting 46% from the field, and he is considered a top ten player in the NBA.

    To add to this rapidly growing roster, the Thunder replaced Taj Gibson with Patrick Patterson, who came with a cheaper contract and performed better on the court. And by also replacing a disappointing player in Cameron Payne, the Thunder added Raymond Felton, a veteran player to come off the bench for Russell Westbrook. To conclude the off season, OKC acquired none other than Carmelo Anthony. In exchange for just Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second round pick, the Thunder were able to get a top-five forward in Anthony. While Carmelo may have had a lack luster performance in New York, this was due to him being placed in a horrible system. Imagine being Carmelo, wasting your prime in a broken offense setting and not even making the playoffs. We will definitely see him play with a chip on his shoulder this year, proving that he still has what it takes to be an all-star.

  3. Houston Rockets
    With the potential to be the second seed in the West, Houston continues to show significant improvement. Although the Rockets lost Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and Lou Williams, they were able to add all-star point guard Chris Paul along with P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. If you were to look up the textbook definition of a point guard, you would find Chris Paul’s picture right over the word. Paul averaged about 20 points last season, but more importantly he averaged 10 assists per game. His ability to involve other players on the court offensively is deadly, especially on a team whose success is literally predicated on its offensive performance. Also, the Rockets picked up P.J. Tucker, who is a good rebounder, something the Rockets have been needing for quite some time. Luc Mbah a Moute may not be a major pickup for the Rockets, but he may be able to provide a larger defensive presence on the Rockets, who are lacking obviously in that department. 

2017 Prep-Villa Homecoming review

This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria gathered to host their annual Homecoming dance, the second straight year it’s been in the PVEC. Approximately 700 people were in attendance and were looking sharp as always. The dance started at 8 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. Many students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and made many memories Saturday night that they will cherish forever.

For the seniors, this will be their last homecoming dance of their high school lives. A large number of students made the most out of their night. Senior Nick Dinner said, “Homecoming for me was a delightful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the dance, and the theme was extravagant while the atmosphere was excellent.”

The entire gym was packed from the front of the mob near the DJ, all the way to the bleachers where people went to rest and take a breather. The lights added a whole new element to the night as they flashed and changed colors in coordination with the songs. The live DJ also put on a show and provided some really cool, appropriate, upbeat songs that everyone was dancing their minds off to.

The thing everyone was awaiting eagerly all night for was the naming of Homecoming king and queen. The court was made up of Joe DeMarco, Anthony Bolden, Bobby Ek, Joe Campbell, Jacob Sorge, Olivia Heasley, Taniah Stephens, Catherine Chido, Phoebe Gromacki, and Katherine Innes. As the crowning these two individuals was drawing nearer, all the attention went to the front of the gym to the V.I.P. box. Joe Campbell was awarded Homecoming king while Taniah Stephens was crowned Homecoming queen.

Joe had this to say, “Winning king was a joyous surprise that is a great way to start off my senior year. I’d like to thank everyone for making it a great senior homecoming.”

Taniah, or “T” as she is most commonly known said, “It was an honor to be 2017 Prep and Villa Homecoming Queen and it was great to know that my Villa sisters picked me to be the Queen. A big thanks to everyone who did pick me.”

It was a very memorable night and everyone had a great time, especially those on the court. Thank you to everyone who made it possible and unifying the class of 2018 for one of the last times!

NFL players’ protests during national anthem spark outrage and support, debate and discussion

Although the specific tradition of NFL players standing for the anthem dates back to only 2009, it has been a longstanding tradition in the United States to play the “Star Spangled Banner” (the national anthem) before sporting events. It is customary for anyone present at the game, including players, coaches, and spectators, to at least stand. In 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback player Colin Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the playing of the national anthem to protest against police brutality and structural racism. This quiet symbolic action generated a loud discussion discrediting Kaepernick’s behavior, with some calling it “disrespectful.”

Among this animosity, some other players throughout the National Football League chose to follow suit. Although more athletes were doing it, the action was not described as a “movement.” It was more the act of individual players who believed in what Kaepernick’s message. However, these actions caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who took to Twitter to display his disapproval. 

On September 23, Donald Trump tweeted “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect to our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

President Trump’s tweet sparked strong reactions from various players and teams throughout the NFL. Teams used their own methods to protest the anthem, almost as a form of resistance towards Donald Trump. A day after the tweet, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had his team skip the anthem altogether, choosing to remain in the locker room until the game actually started. The Chicago Bears chose to remain standing but locked arms while the anthem played. Players on the Dolphins wore Kaepernick T-shirts during their pregame warm-up. Before Trump’s tweet, protesting the anthem was only done by individual players scattered throughout the league. After the tweet, entire teams made it their prerogative to express their resistance. 

These different types of protests along with President Trump’s reaction have garnered nationwide discussion. Media outlets have blown this story up to its fullest extent, and the controversy has been a topic of discussion across the country, even making its way into the halls of Cathedral Prep.

Mr. Pituch, a social studies teacher at Prep, weighed in on the issue. “This has become a very polarizing issue. Both sides present a clear argument on its relevance today.”

Jack Matthews, senior at Cathedral Prep, stated his opinion, “I feel that kneeling in protest of the flag is un-American. Our first amendment right is not only the freedom of speech but the freedom to not say anything at all.” Matthews’ opinion is against the players’ actions; however, there is always another side to the issue.

Mr. Hubert, an English and journalism teacher at Prep, used the issue as a teachable moment in his sports journalism class. “What I was reading on social media and what I was hearing in conversation was a lot of divisive, polarizing rhetoric,” he said. “I try to teach my students that it is important to be willing to engage in respectful dialogue and to listen to different perspectives on tough issues.”

Mr. Hubert assigned his sports journalism students to read a variety of articles analyzing and reporting on the protests. The articles, which came from a variety of sources, spanned the political spectrum and included columns with low-to-high levels of bias as well as objective news reports. “I was pleased with how well my students handled the follow-up conversation in a civilized manner. “Too many people resort to name-calling, seeking their mic-drop moment to shut down and ‘win’ the debate,” he said. “I challenged my students to be open-minded and empathetic—to push themselves to try to understand how the other side feels, and as a result we had a very productive, healthy classroom discussion.”

Clearly, this is an issue that ignites passion both from those people who support the protesters and those people who oppose them. The debate also leaves room for both sides to make well-reasoned points supporting their arguments. The beautiful part of this nation is that the first amendment allows them to disagree and voice their respective opinions.