We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am not sure why this is a "crisis." It is unwise to ever borrow - or lend - money if there is a reasonable concern about repayment. Nonetheless, people often do it.
Now that politicians have defined it as a crisis, they want to pander and to throw OPM at it and to do all the things pols do.
As Reynolds and many others have been explaining for years, there is a bubble in the pricing of higher ed. There will never be enough money to satisfy them, and loans and grants perpetuate the situation. It is a scandal, really, between the pricing and the little return from so many schools which are little more than diploma mills for recreating youth.
I would propose two simple solutions: eliminate federal loan guarantees, and permit student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. This would normalize the debt and lending mess in higher ed, and would force pricing downwards.
Have you ever pored over the balance sheet of an institution of higher ed? If you get the chance, prepare to be shocked.
Why is college so expensive? Three main reasons. First, because colleges, with enthusiastic support from politicians of all stripes, have convinced Americans that higher education is the ticket to success. While a college degree is no longer a badge of the upper class, it is still viewed as a luxury good and is priced accordingly. Second, colleges have joyfully suffered from what Andy Rosen, CEO of the testing and online-education company Kaplan, has called “an edifice complex.” Colleges, including lots of state schools, continue to build luxury dorms, gourmet dining rooms, and lavish athletic centers to attract students—almost as if academics were an afterthought. Staffs have become bloated, too, not with more professors, but with administrators. Third, colleges have been playing with other people’s money. Washington has pumped trillions into financial aid programs. Low-income families get outright grants; everyone else qualifies for easy-to-obtain loans.
Primarily because if is a bureaucratic fiefdom(s) morass. At any given college you could probably fire half the people and end all the non-direct-education programs with no loss of college effectiveness or harm to students. Everyone has a budget and their full time job is spending it and expanding it. Most of what happens outside of class is a waste of time and money.
In 1975 (when I started university) you could work for minimum wage over the summer and cover about 30 to 50% of your college costs (depending on public or private school).
Now that is down to 10-20%. So you depend much more on discounts from list price to make things affordable. Problem is that list price is set by full fare foreign students and others the schools recruit. So prices stay high and domestic students borrow to the hilt.
Or maybe these schools need to look at getting out of the business of feeding and housing students. The residence are becoming more luxurious and expensive by the year. The food excessive and all-you-can eat with a fixed-price meal plan all must buy. Rip off for young women who don't eat as much as men. But yet, very hard to buy LESS.
Also, maybe these schools should look at focusing their $$ on education, rather than sports. If your coaches are more expensive than a whole department of professors, something is wrong. Or, funnel some of that sweet sports cash into your school and reduce the cost of attendance.
What about fancy gyms? and other buildings built for entertainment value only?
Absolutely. Probably half of the "students' attending college are receiving "studies" degrees because their intellect is so feeble that they cannot succeed in any field requiring math, chemistry, physics or even accounting.
I read the other day that some black educator received a Phd in African Geography! What in the name of St. Paul is that all about?