College, Loans and the Road to Success
It is something of a truism that whenever the federal government steps in, costs usually rise and efficiency declines.
That is especially true when it comes to a college education, which President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to make more affordable. "We've got to make sure every young person can afford to go to college," he said then. Instead, tuition costs keep rising, along with the debt owed by increasing numbers of graduates, who are now campaigning -- with bipartisan approval in an election year -- for
I feel about those with crushing tuition debt the way I feel about people who choose to live along the frequently flooded banks of the Mississippi River. If students and their parents choose expensive schools, they should accept the responsibility and cost accompanying that decision.
The federal government has no constitutional authority to require people to receive an education. Education should be the primary responsibility of state and local entities (and parents). Taxpayers should not be expected to pay for college tuition when graduates default on loans they agreed to repay. What kind of life lesson is it when this early test of a young person's character is said not to matter?
But, today, is all that college debt even worth it?
The value of a college education -- at least at the more pricey private universities -- is declining. An
The AP story references a 2011
A surprising new report from the Pathways to
As noted in
Thirty percent of new jobs will only require "an associate's degree or a post-secondary occupational credential," the report found. It recommends a new direction by broadening "the range of high-quality pathways that we offer young adults. This would include far more emphasis on career counseling and high-quality career education, as well as apprenticeship programs and community colleges as viable routes to well-paying jobs."
Another surprising fact that argues against costly colleges and universities that impose heavy financial burdens on students, parents and government is found in a study conducted by
This sounds like a win-win-win. Attend a far less expensive state school and save money; avoid crushing debt that will take decades to repay; and reduce the burden on taxpayers. What's not to like?
Students and parents should have the right to choose when it comes to college, but if they choose a costly private institution, they should assume the financial obligations that go with that choice. Before choosing, they should look at these studies and consider whether in the long run the supposed prestige and expense of a well-known school are worth the cost, especially if the job or career the student wants doesn't require a degree, or worse, that there isn't a job waiting after graduation.
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