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February

Sub-archives

Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Mar 01, 2024 06:29 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included a troll thread in the relationship forum, college commitments among area private and independent school students, secrets kept from spouses, and do bad people get what they are due?

The most active thread yesterday was the one about women continuing to pursue careers even though their husbands can support them. But I've already discussed that thread and will skip it today. The next most active thread was titled, "Not welcome on vacation" and posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum. The original poster, in an extremely long post, describes how her fiancé's mother frequently excludes her, most recently not inviting her on a trip on which the mother had invited the original poster's fiancé. But, I am not really going to talk about this thread. Rather, I am going to describe the original poster's repeated trolling over the last couple of days. First, the story of this thread. Early in the thread at least one poster suspected the original poster of being a troll and accused her of faking the thread. This started a lot of back and forth and, at some point, another poster defended the original poster. The poster who didn't believe the original poster immediately accused this new poster of being the original poster and hiding her identity. That was not true, though ironically the original poster had been posting defenses of herself and claiming to be a "new poster". At any rate, the troll-calling poster and the poster defending the original poster got into a heated exchange which led a report to me and a thread in the "Website Feedback" forum. When I looked into the thread, I saw the posts by the original poster in which she falsely identified herself as a new poster. That spurred me to check what other threads she had been posting. It turned out that two days earlier she had posted a thread titled, "Helping him" in which she claimed that she was divorcing her husband and his mother was paying for his lawyer. Yesterday, the same day that she started the thread complaining that her fiancé's mother left her out, she started a thread titled, "Doesn’t want that time with him" in which she says her mother-in-law doesn't want to spend time alone with her husband. I locked all three threads and exposed the original poster as a troll. But, that didn't stop her. This morning she started a new thread titled, "Feeling guilty about being ‘too’ sad" in which she describes being heartbroken by the death of her husband's grandmother. This one is a real tear jerker. Then, she followed that up a few minutes later with a thread titled, "Delicate DIL situation" in which she is suddenly a mother-in-law complaining about her daughter-in-law. But that post is so convoluted that I can't be bothered trying to figure out what it is supposed to say. To summarize, over the course of three days, the poster has had three different marital statuses, engaged, married, divorcing and has been both a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law. I understand that sometimes posters fudge details to maintain their anonymity, but this poster also claimed to live in Georgia (something about which I also suspect is not true). Her anonymous posts on DCUM are unlikely to expose her back home. But, beyond that, two threads directly contradict each other with regard to her feelings about the relationship of her husband/fiancé and his mother. Who knows if any part of any of this is true. I suspect it is just a bored person with an overly-active imagination and too much time on her hands.

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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Mar 07, 2024 07:58 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included hatred of London, a missed tryout, a STD caught from a cheating husband, and choosing between the University of Virginia and the University of Florida.

The two most active threads yesterday were ones that I've already discussed and will, therefore, skip today. The third most active thread was titled, "London is HORRIBLE" was originally posted in the "Off-Topic" forum but I moved it to the "Travel Discussion" forum. Frankly, however, I am not sure which forum is most appropriate for this thread. The original poster epically rants about her dislike of London, bashing the housing (too cold and expensive), the residents (mean, lazy, and drunk), and the food (it sucks). She then concludes that DC is 100 times better than London. A number of those responding have experience living in London and while they agree with the original poster in some respects, they disagree in others. Some posters argue that the original poster, while living in an expensive part of London, is not in an area that shows London's strongest attributes. Many make suggestions for areas that might not only be less expensive, but considerably more enjoyable. As for the food, posters again suggest that the original poster has missed the best examples. One poster said that it takes a special effort to miss the good food that London offers. The Indian food is almost universally praised. Other ethnic foods get mixed reviews, however. Several of the negative characteristics the original poster described are brushed off as normal in Europe and not exclusive to London. One advantage that nobody can deny that London has over DC is the lack of guns, though the original poster did complain about muggings. Those responding also repeatedly praised London's museums, though DC is no slouch when it comes to museums either. Posters were also almost unanimous is praising technological advances in Europe such as easy bank transfers that don't exist in the US. At some point the thread devolved to a discussion of British accents and who does or does not pronounce words correctly. One poster provided a fairly accurate assessment of the thread, saying "The thread is very DCUM in terms of lying squarely at the intersection of pretentiousness and parochialism." Another significant point of contention was London's timezone and how that affects the hours of sunlight per day. A number of posters were certain that London has much less daylight than most American cites while other posters were equally sure that is not true. Several posters were concerned that the original poster might be missing an opportunity by not experiencing more of the good aspects of London. Quite a few posters cautioned that living in a city is different than visiting and that it might simply take longer to feel comfortable. There were a number of good suggestions provided to the original poster that might help her increase her appreciation for the city and she seemed open to the advice. So maybe things won't turn out so bad after all.

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Monday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 27, 2024 07:19 PM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included a dispute between sisters about wedding invitations, laws about divorce and pregnancy, a self-immolation at the Israeli embassy, and a cook with poor planning skills.

I'm going to have to work my way up to discussing the most active thread yesterday. As many are aware, DCUM originally started as a mailing list. The first use of forums was to offload posts advertising or searching for nannies because they were creating too much traffic for the mailing list. After that, the forums grew organically and we mostly added them at the request of users. I don't remember the circumstances that led to the creation of the "Family Relationships" forum, but I am fairly certain that it would have been due to users' requests. I would never have come up with the idea for this forum and have never had great expectations for it. For years the forum trundled along almost like a backwater with nothing much happening within it. But more recently the forum has become a source of endless drama. Posters have a knack for turning the most mundane of interactions in to a double-digit page length spectacle. Such was the case with yesterday's most active thread. Titled, "Invitations haven't been sent yet" and, as I alluded to, posted in the "Family Relationships" forum, the original poster's conflict could hardly be less remarkable. Her niece, who lives across the country, will be getting married this summer. Apparently a date for the wedding has been agreed upon, but not officially announced. The original poster contacted her sister to ask if the date is solid because she wants to purchase airline tickets while they are still cheap. It will be an expensive trip regardless and she doesn't want to have to pay even higher prices later. The original poster's sister responded by saying, "Invitations haven't been sent yet" which angered the original poster and seems to have brought to the surface other longstanding resentments she has towards her sibling. The original poster seems to have meant this post mostly as a vent. The entire incident is pretty simple from the original poster's point of view. Her sister is strange and inconsiderate, she provided a strange and unhelpful response, not for the first time she has upset the original poster, and the original poster will simply ask her niece about the date instead. Personally, I can't imagine a response to this post beyond, "I understand your frustration and I hope it all works out." That, of course, is only if I bothered to respond at all, which I wouldn't have. But, those who did respond are not like me. Instead, multiple posters attacked the original poster with one calling her "way out of line" and accusing a her of pressuring a stressed-out bride. Others analyzed the sister's response, suggesting it might mean that either the wedding is in trouble and might not come off or that the original poster is not invited. No amount of assurances by the original poster that this was not the case would stop the speculation. I am not sure why the original poster chose to repeatedly engage the responders. That only seemed to cause them to pick more holes in her story or find new reasons to criticize her.

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The Most Active Thread Since Friday

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 27, 2024 08:27 AM

The topics with the most engagement since my last blog post included parents' issues with DEIB, changes at WAMU, a letter to mother-in-laws, and moms who continue to pursue careers even though they have high-earning husbands.

The three most active threads over the weekend were ones that I have discussed before and will therefore skip today. That means that I will be starting with what was actually the fourth most active thread. That thread was titled, "Why do parents have such an issue with DEIB" and posted in the "Private & Independent Schools" forum. I was aware that Diversity, Equity, and inclusion or DEI initiatives had become a popular bugaboo in certain quarters, in many cases replacing Critical Race Theory, or CRT, as the root of all evil, but I was hitherto unfamiliar with the additional "B". Some quick Googling revealed that the "B" is for "belonging" and that "DEIB" is a popular alternative to "DEI". The original poster of this thread suggests that many parents have misconceptions of what is involved with DEIB and that she never sees assignments of the sort that others claim are prompted by DEIB. She says that she knows of parents who claim to be basing school choices on the avoidance of DEIB and wants to know why they are so threatened by it. This is the sort of discussion that can go one of two ways on DCUM. Because DCUM's users, especially in the private school forum, tend to be highly-educated, experienced, and, might I say, worldly, there could be a nuanced, sophisticated, and intelligent discusion. But, this is a polarizing topic and the discussion could be one that reflects simplistic and overly-generalized arguments that are often based on stereotypes or false impressions. Because the smart move would be to avoid this type of discussion in the first place, there are more posts from the second category than the first. In very broad strokes, the extreme positions in this thread are, on one hand, that any one who opposes DEIB is a racist and, on the other hand, that White people are tired of being called racists and, therefore, don't like DEIB. A more nuanced example was a post suggesting that an emphasis on race and gender ignores other important social divisions, particularly those involving class. While affinity groups for Black or LGBTQ groups are embraced, one poster wondered how parents would react to "a ‘working class’ affinity group in the schools? Particularly one in which teachers shared their experiences of their salaries and what it’s actually like to teach the children of the upper class?" Many of the criticisms of DEIB seem to of the sort described by the original poster and demonstrate a misunderstanding of DEIB. Throughout the thread posters make claims about DEIB but then, when asked, are unable to provide specific examples. Several posters say that they support the goals of DEIB but that efforts have "gone too far". One dilemma with which I see posters struggling is how to reconcile often conflicting values. For instance, affinity groups can be both important support mechanisms for groups that don't align with the majority, but also divisive factors that hinder unity and cohesion. This thread also attracted a couple of posters who seem to perennially argue about DEI, DEIB, wokeness, and so on.

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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 22, 2024 11:53 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included concern about a choice of a less prestigious college, the Supreme Court of Alabama's ruling regarding embryos, the School Without Walls' application process, and the intrusion of religion into the legal system,

The two most active threads yesterday were both threads that I discussed in yesterday's blog post, the one about about broke men on online dating and the one about the soccer club merger (still no official announcement). I will skip those two and start with a thread titled, "Talk me off a ledge" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that her daughter has been offered a full scholarship to East Stroudsburg University and even though she has been accepted by more prestigious universities — though without aid — she is considering accepting the scholarship. The original poster does not appear to be very impressed by the university and cannot find any information about its outcomes for pre-health (e.g. pre-med) studies which her daughter plans to pursue. The original poster is worried that choosing this school will limit her daughter's chances for graduate school and professional opportunities. She asks that others help her gain some perspective. This is a situation over which the college admissions fantasy league players salivate because they can not only game out undergraduate admissions, but graduate admissions as well. Most of them simply requested more information about other schools that accepted the student. A number of posters suggested giving the school a chance and possibly transferring later. Quite a few other posters thought that East Stroudsburg might be an ideal choice. The original poster's daughter could hopefully stand out as a big fish in a small pond, earn a high grade point average, and be a great candidate for medical school. Moreover, not paying for undergraduate studies will leave money for graduate school. Later in the thread, the original poster says that anyone who reads the college forum generally would understand her concerns. This alludes to the fixation most of the forum's posters have on top universities. There seems to be a conviction among many of the forum's posters that failing to attend a school within the top 50 is a sign of failure. Another concern about East Stroudsburg that some posters had was not about the academics, but rather the social aspects of the school. These posters thought that the relatively small non-commuter student body and the perceived caliber of students that attend could have a significant impact compared to the atmosphere at other schools. Several posters strongly rejected the idea of attending a school such as ESU. For the most part these posters did not explain their reasoning, perhaps believing the explanation was self-evident, but they were very adement that paying for another university would be better than attending ESU for free.

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The Most Active Threads Since Friday

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 19, 2024 02:57 PM

The topics with the most engagement since my last blog post included preventing a son from getting a tattoo, the intellect of business majors, a 13-year-old caught drinking, and a 39-year-old trainer's disappointing dating experiences.

The most active thread since my last blog post on Friday was the one about the court proceedings in Georgia that I've already discussed and will skip today. The most active thread after that one was titled, "Best way to keep kid from getting a tattoo while in college" and posted in the "Tweens and Teens" forum. When I first read the title of this thread, I thought this was a very esoteric concern given the full spectrum of things that can go wrong during college. But the original poster's explanation, that her son plays a sport in college that has a strong tattoo culture and he is feeling pressured to get one, made the concern understandable. Most of those responding seemed pretty pessimistic about the chances of preventing the child from getting a tattoo. Instead, they suggested offering advice about the placement and design of it instead of trying to prevent a tattoo altogether. Some posters suggested threatening to stop paying for college if he got a tattoo. Others took the opposition approach and suggesting offering a cash reward if he didn't get one. The most innovative idea, though not necessarily the best one, was for the original poster to get a tattoo herself, likely turning off her son from the ideas. This sort of reverse psychology was behind suggestions to praise tattoos and to declare them to be good ideas. I was a bit dismayed that almost none of those responding suggested simply having calm and mature discussions about the pros and cons of tattoos. They all seemed to prefer either control, manipulation, or resignation. One exception was a poster who suggested having a conversation about the opinion of the Maori people about specific tattoo trends and other pitfalls of tattoos. The poster also advised discussing non-permanent ways in which the original poster's son could decorate himself. The original poster explicitly stated that she was not intending to start a debate about tattoos themselves, but that was clearly wishful thinking. Before long, posters who support tattoos and posters who don't were not only arguing, but calling each other childish names. Over half the thread is probably substance-free bickering, none of which had much to do with the original poster's question.

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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 15, 2024 11:18 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included Girls Lacrosse, MCPS high school bathrooms, the Charles Allen recall effort, and Arlington losing young families.

One again, the Travis and Taylor thread was the most active, but like yesterday, I will skip that thread today because I have already discussed it. The next most active thread after that was titled, "2028 Girls Lacrosse" and posted in the "Lacrosse" forum. I know almost nothing about lacrosse so asking me to discuss the topic is similar to asking a group of blind people to describe an elephant. They each might get an individual part of the animal correct, but will probably miss the larger picture. It is my assumption that the "2028" in the title refers to the high school graduation year of the players which would mean that this thread is meant to discuss middle school-aged athletes. But I would not be surprised to learn that I am even wrong about that. This thread was started last November, but became active yesterday after a post beginning, "Here is some pre-season material from BOTC to get you fired up:". I have no idea who or what "BOTC" is, but the post did have the effect of firing up other posters. Or, perhaps "fired up" is too strong but it certainly got them posting. There was a ton of back and forth regarding which teams would do well and how one team might match up with another. But that did not even rise to the level of trash talk. Things got a bit heated when discussion turned to a team — at least I think it is a team — called "Lumberlax". If I understood correctly, a parent associated with that team was accused of "poaching" players from other teams. Moreover, one poster reported that Lumberlax parents had made some controversial statements about another team. But, then it turned out that Lumberlax isn't really a full-fledged team but more or less an ad hoc effort organized for a small number of games primarily to raise money for charity. Moreover, almost everyone denies that the alleged controversial statements by parents that were described had actually been made, but they are deeply sorry if they were. Most posters seem to believe the post about the statements was a troll. The only other thing I picked up from this thread is that it is entirely appropriate to respond to any question by writing, "IYKYK" and not only is there a "IYKYK guy", but he has an assistant. I'm sure that being the assistant to the IYKYK guy is very prestigious and a position to which we should all aspire.

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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 14, 2024 03:58 PM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included the foreign aid bill passed by the Senate, a search for a surrogate, not taking precautions while having covid, and potential changes to MCPS programs.

Yesterday the most active thread was the Travis and Taylor thread that I've already discussed and will therefore skip today. The second was a thread about a two-hour delay in opening Montgomery County Public Schools yesterday. However, that thread was started with only a link — a violation of DCUM guidelines — and was simply 12 pages of posters complaining about the delay. It is no longer relevant and combined with the link-only first post, I decided to delete it rather than discuss it. That left the first thread to be discussed today to one titled, "The Senate passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan" and posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. This aid package has had a long and complicated history. The Biden Administration originally requested significant aid to Ukraine as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which Congress considered toward the end of last year. Republicans in the House of Representatives opposed the assistance unless it was accompanied by an immigration bill strengthening border security. As a result, the NDAA was eventually passed with only a small assistance package for Ukraine and a bipartisan group of Senators began negotiating an immigration bill that could be part of a larger aid package. This month, Republican Senator James Lankford announced that he had achieved bipartisan agreement on such a bill, but former President Donald Trump immediately announced his opposition to the bill because he would rather have border security be an issue during the presidential campaign. Reflecting Trump's influence, almost all Republicans — even some of those who had helped negotiate the bill — announced opposition to it. Ultimately only 4 Republicans would vote in favor of the legislation which failed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Senators then pulled the foreign assistance package from the combined immigration/foreign assistance bill and voted on it separately. This thread was started after passage of that legislation. However, the bill must now return to the House for passage in that chamber. House Republicans, who had joined Trump's opposition to the bipartisan Senate immigration legislation and rejected immigration reform, are now demanding that immigration reform be part of the bill. This reflects two 180 degree flips in the House Republican position since December. House Republicans face a number of challenges that are preventing them from producing any serious legislation. First, the caucus has a laser-thin majority which will become one seat less after the winner of yesterday's special election to fill the seat of disgraced Republicans Congressman George Santos is sworn in. This, combined with an insistance by Republican hardliners that important legislation be passed with a Republican majority rather than reliance on Democrats, makes a bill of this nature almost impossible to pass. Several Republicans outright reject any further aid to Ukraine and, like Trump, seem to have no concern about Russia taking over Ukraine. So, there just aren't enough Republican votes and passing such a bill with Democratic votes would likely result in the ouster of House Speaker Mike Johnson. Johnson, rather than risk his speakership or see the aid bill defeated by Republicans, prefers to cloud the issue with demands for immigration reform. The result will likely be a stalemate unless the defense industrial complex, with its eye on billions of dollars, can convince Johnson and his Republican colleagues to have a change of heart.

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Monday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 14, 2024 09:13 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included a poster upset by her mother-in-law's impending visit, proposals for future Super Bowl halftime shows, a brother-in-law who doesn't give gifts, and why area students avoid Johns Hopkins University.

Yesterday a lot of the activity involved threads that I've already discussed. The top three most active threads of the day were ones that I'll skip today because they have appeared in past blogs. Those were the Travis and Taylor, Gaza war, and Super Bowl Halftime threads. Therefore, the first thread that I will discuss today was actually yesterday's fourth most active. Titled, "About to Jump Off a Ledge Over Upcoming MIL Visit, Please Talk Me Down" and posted in the "Family Relationships" forum, the original poster writes in a very lengthy post about her distress with an upcoming visit by her mother-in-law. Apparently her mother-in-law just left after a three week long visit and is planning to return soon for another lengthy stay. According to the original poster, her mother-in-law, who is from another country, is very overbearing and controlling. When she visits, she basically takes over the house, redecorating, moving things around, and undertaking tasks that the original poster has asked her not to. The mother-in-law has a frightening personality and most of the original poster's family is afraid of her. The original poster's husband is no help and does nothing to alleviate the situation. Posters offer a lot of advice, but it is mostly things that the original poster has already tried such as simply ignoring her mother-in-law or spending more time outside the house, or suggestions that are easier said that done such as demanding that her husband set limits or "growing a backbone". Several posters argue that the original poster should become much more assertive and willing to set limits for her mother-in-law, or in lieu of that, act passive aggressively to make her visit uncomfortable. Others suggest that the problem is not the mother-in-law, but rather the original poster's husband. His refusal to support the original poster and push back against his mother is a significant hurdle for the original poster. As things stand, the original poster does not think that there is any certainty that, forced to chose between his wife and his mother, her husband would choose her. As a result, she is considering divorce. While divorce is normally the solution recommended by DCUM posters for almost anything, the idea received some pushback in this case with posters recommending less extreme solutions. One idea was to rent an AirBNB, either for the original poster or, even better, for her mother-in-law. But, ultimately, divorce was the solution proposed by some posters, especially those who have been in the original poster's situation themselves.

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Thursday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 12, 2024 11:05 AM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included the Supreme Court hearing about keeping Donald Trump on the ballot, the Special Counsel report into Joe Biden, stay-at-home-moms, and a Montgomery County Council hearing about MCPS.

Yesterday's most active threads had a distinctly political slant with three of the four top threads dealing with political topics. The first of those was titled, "Supreme Court Hearing on 14th Amendment and Trump" and posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. As the title makes clear, this thread is focused on yesterday's oral arguments before the Supreme Court as it reviewed the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the presidential primary ballot. Several of the posters were listening to a live stream of the proceedings and then posting their immediate reactions. Mixed in with those posts were questions, statements, and opinions from other posters. Almost everyone was pessimistic that the Court would keep Trump off the ballot, they only disagreed about why the justices would make such a decision. Explanations ran the gamut from such a decision being legally and morally justified to it being the result of a corrupt and bought-off court. One of the issues that both the justices and and posters debated was whether removing Trump from the ballot would result in Republican states removing Democratic candidates in the future. While many posters saw this as a realistic possibility, they were frustrated by the suggestion that removing Trump for a real reason — provoking an insurrection — would result in Democrats being removed for manufactured reasons. One poster responded to this discussion by writing, "If Trump murdered someone and we sent him to jail for it, would that open the floodgates to accusations that Democrats committed murder even if they never killed anyone?" Both the justices and DCUM posters agreed that potential problems could be avoided if the Court defined what is or is not an "insurrection", but justices made their reluctance to do such a thing clear. Posters also critiqued a distinction that some justices attempted to make between an officer vs an office. Ironically, given that this case hinges squarely on Trump's involvement in an insurrection, the Court mostly stayed away from addressing the insurrection or Trump's involvement. Not only did the Court shy away from suggestions that it define "insurrection", but despite the wish of many posters that the Court decide whether or not Trump engaged in an insurrection, that is not the role of the Court in this instance and there were no attempts to address that question. Several posters expressed consternation that Justice Clarence Thomas had not recused himself from this case due to his wife's involvement in the January 6 insurrection. To them this exemplified both Thomas' corruption and the larger Court's illegitimacy.

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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Feb 08, 2024 05:16 PM

Yesterday's most active topics included the cost of attending Tufts University, diversity trends in area private schools, prestige of colleges and universities, and filming fights in MCPS.

Yesterday the King Charles thread was again the most active thread of the day. But since I have already discussed that thread, I'll go on to the next which was titled, "Tufts tuition" and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster says that he checked the cost of Tufts University on the school's website and saw that it comes to $88,300 per year. The title only mentions tuition, but this amount is actually what colleges refer to as the "cost of attendance" that includes food, housing, books, and other expenses. The original poster seems astounded by the price and asks how any school can be worth this amount and wonders what Tufts offers to justify charging 2 or 3 times the price of other equally-good colleges. Several posters question whether there actually are comparable universities that cost significantly less. They argue that this is simply the going price for private colleges and even many public universities. Some posters attribute this to the market pricing of universities and suggest that as long as someone is willing to pay the cost, that is what it is worth. Others argue that students are simply paying for the name or connections that can be made at the school and that the education is not significantly better. Posters suggest Michigan State University and Florida State University as colleges that offer merit aid to highly-qualified students that brings down the cost to less than half of Tufts. Another poster suggested Rutgers University. Other posters contested the idea that any of these schools were the same caliber as Tufts. There are a couple of different arguments going on in this thread. One is that expensive colleges such as Tufts offset the price by offering merit aid to "high stats" students. But one poster, whose son has great grades and extracurriculars, says that their experience is that even with merit aid the colleges are too expensive. The second dispute is similar to those about the value of private k-12 schools compared to public. Posters point to smaller class sizes and a more exclusive student body as advantages. Much of the college forum is taken up by threads about admissions and who is being advantaged and who is getting an unfair deal. But, increasingly, discussions about the cost of college are becoming almost as popular. Thread after thread highlights that while the super wealthy can simply write a check and the very poor can count on financial assistance, those in the middle are challenged by the costs. Posters can make any argument that they want to justify the cost of selective private colleges — and indeed they make many — but if others can't afford the cost, none of those advantages matter. As a result, in real life just as in this thread, many are beginning to see more value in lower-cost public universities.

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