This piece has been linked all over the web, I think mostly because it has some great lines that are perfect for a blog post. When I went to read the whole essay on the state of higher education in this country, I came across this:
What actually will happen to higher ed, when the breaking point comes, will be an extension of what has already happened, what money wants to see happen. Another market-driven disaster will be understood as a disaster of socialism, requiring an ever deeper penetration of the university by market rationality.
Leftists just can tell the difference between a market the is functioning imperfectly and an industry that is overridden with bad incentives created by the government. They can’t see that the government has created barriers to entry. They can’t see, especially in the case of the author of this essay the corruption of the accrediting bodies. They look at the student loan program and recognize its evil qualities, but do not recognize that is is a creation of government.
I wonder what will happen to the liberal arts. I imagine, because we, as a nation, are wealthy enough that there will always be liberal arts. The surviving liberal arts programs just won’t be populated with students that think the degrees will lead to a high paying job.
As is often said, go read the whole thing. Really, it’s very good.
All in once nice graphic:
I wouldn’t touch any securities that have student loans in them. This can’t go on forever, so it won’t.
How to Make the Most of Your Higher Education – Megan McArdle.
I like a lot of the items listed.
I have to think about working for a year before going to college. There is no doubt that would be a good idea for some students. I can think of one in particular that might find how hard it is to make money and would then apply himself a little harder in college.
It’s a great article about colleges and universities.
Because if there’s one group you’d pin your hopes for an American renaissance on, it would be state legislators.
Imagine picking a thousand students at random from among our institutions of higher education. Now imagine unpicking everyone at one of US News‘ Top 100 liberal arts colleges or universities. You’d expel anyone from the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT. Anyone from from Emory or Rice. Anyone from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Drexel. Anyone from the famously good state schools—UMass, Virginia, the California universities. After ejecting those students from your group, how many of the original thousand would be left?
This vitiation of the diploma is Goodhart’s Law in action, where a socially useful metric becomes increasingly worthless, because the incentives pushing towards adulteration are larger than those pushing towards purity. This is not some bad thing that was done to us in the academy. We did this to ourselves, under the rubric of ordinary accreditation…
In the academy, we’re fine with anything that lowers the cost of education. We love those kinds of changes. But when someone threatens to lower the price, well, then we start behaving like Teamsters in tweed.
Please do go read the whole thing. It really is on point with the problems in higher education.
Take a look at the depressing news:
I still wonder if we’re doing the Ace justice be “requiring” her to get a degree. She is the type of person that will benefit from one, and she will also get out of college debt free. I have two more years before the Deuce has to make his decision. He’s going to be an interesting case.
That right there is a plan for economic success for all!
Hat tip: The News Junkie, Maggie’s Farm.
And it should give pause to everyone that thinks college is the answer for their problems. I should especially give student debtors more than a pause; something more akin to a full stop.
From The Fiscal Times, check out this chart:
I see this stuff all the time. The Ace is a freshman in college and the deuce is a sophomore in high school. I wonder if I’m guilty of parental malpractice by pushing them to college degrees. They will graduate with no student debt. At least I’m going to help them out there.
Reynold’s Law. This time from WRM;
The student loan system’s biggest victims are exactly the people policy makers most want to help: marginal students whose chances of finishing are not great.
Don’t let your kids borrow money for crappy degrees from crappy schools!