10 August 2009

Higher Education Overinflated

According to a Forbes.com article, college tuition has increased by more than three times the rate of inflation over the last 20 years, despite flat-lining U.S. wages. The average tuition at a private four-year school is up 6.6% yearly in 2007 to $23,712, according to the College Board. . .

And it could haunt students and America for years to come. _WealthDaily
According to the College Board in early 2009, total student loan borrowing more than doubled between 1998 and 2008. The numbers are staggering. We're talking about $85 billion in loans, as compared to $41 billion ten years ago.

Privately funded student loans have risen, too, from 7% in 1998 to 23% of all student loans in 2008. It makes for quite a brew for cash-strapped Americans this year, who are already saddled with unemployment and loss of income. Sallie Mae, for example, had a delinquency rate of 9.4% in Q3 2008, as compared to a rate of 8.5% just a year earlier.

I'm willing to bet that rate gaps higher as the months go by.

The student loan market has been, is, and will be riddled with trouble. Expect higher default rates, as students can't pay back these loans. Still, we'll look to profit from their demise. _WealthDaily
College education is a multi-faceted scandal, crying for alternatives and correctives. Rather than a place to prepare students to meet life's challenges, universities have become dumbed down indoctrination centers and refuges from responsibility -- where students learn and teach dysfunctionality on a grand scale. An educational system fit for a crumbling civilisation, to be sure.

What are the alternatives? Independent certification agencies, which can certify knowledge and expertise across a wide array of professional, vocational, and academic / scholarly / research areas. Universities practise grade inflation, social promotion, affirmative action, and other non-meritocratic policies, which destroys the credibility of many university degrees in the eyes of employers and the public.

University has become bad, overpriced theatre. Farce, if you will. As the cost of university explodes, the value shrinks. All of society participates in this expensive and destructive farce.


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Blogger kurt9 said...

Higher education has become a racket and Sallie Mae is a sleazy-assed company that benefits from it. If you are attending university or plan to do so, do anything possible to avoid getting student loans from Sallie Mae. These people are abusive and unscrupulous. I got loans from these people to attend graduate school in 1990. Fortunately my loan was not that large and I was able to pay it off within 3 years of graduation. I can tell you that Sallie Mae does all of the sleaze tactics that the credit card issuers got hit in the head by congress for earlier this year.

I paid off my Sallie Mae loan early with a rather large payment. They deliberately delayed crediting the payment to my account so that they could charge me an extra finance charge. They were also very difficult to contact by phone when I tried to contact them about paying off my loan early.

I have heard similar stories from others who used Sallie Mae as well. Avoid them like the plague.

Monday, 10 August, 2009  
Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Yes and no.

Yes, college tuition inflation rates are generally unjustifiable. Our State of Michigan for years offered a state tax credit for tuition expenses as long as the college/university tuition increases were no more than the rate of inflation. Each year, that amounted to a handful of community colleges.

Yes, many courses are nothing more than ego trips for the professors and of no real value to students. These curricula focus on ethnic, gender and special interest studies designed to do little more than reinforce stereotypes of victimhood and getting even with "The Man." Others require nothing less than a Ph.D to get a starting job.

No, there are scientific, engineering, business, and other curricula directly related to careers that pay well and produce benefits to our society. I was fortunate enough that my three sons used their educational opportunities very wisely and have benefitted from the college years.

Our real problem begins in our secondary education systems which often function as nothing more than holding pens.

Monday, 10 August, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Sorry for the problems, Kurt. But thanks for the warning to readers.

Thanks for your contributions to improving secondary education, Bruce. I agree that many of the problems of universities contain their seed in the secondary system.

Primary education is just as bad, though. The critical periods of learning are different in primary and secondary educational time periods.

But if those critical periods are blown, there is not much that universities can do to correct the wasted opportunities. By the time a child reaches 20 or later, too many of the dysfunctional layers of the onion have been laid down. His ability to discover his purpose and exploit his best talents have already been compromised.

Monday, 10 August, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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