Monday, April 16, 2012

Student Loans

This is a really good question by Steven Taylor:
Likewise, states are facing increased demands to pay for prisons and Medicaid and universities are facing increased health care costs (and increased enrollments). At a minimum we have to recognize that we have developed a system in which we expect a large number of high school graduates to go onto get college degrees at the same time we have cut spending to higher education. It is a problematic model, to be sure. Is it too much to ask that people who are in positions of power to acknowledge these complexities?
The context of this question is Virginia Foxx questioning the wisdom of student loans.  It is true that we have created a situation where state funding is declining but a university degree is a key element for a young person to enter the workforce.  After all, human capital development is one of the keys to increased productivity.  We can argue whether universities are ideal (hopefully in a context of the real world where waste, inefficiency and problems are present in all human systems) for this role.

But if we are not going to create alternatives then we should not be surprised that students see no good options.  In particular, is the trade-off of more prisons for less education really the ideal choice?

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