Regular Joe

Unfiltered (and totally caffeinated)

The Great College Hoax

I found a few great resources about the “education bubble” after posting last week.  The more I think about it the more it makes sense.  We’re pushing too hard for a certain idea of what is educational success: a college degree.  I think that we’re going to continue to see these issues, and until the cost of college is reigned in it will have very lasting future implications.  

Forbes ran a good article titled the Great College Hoax which focused on the fact that the financial benefits of colleges–usually quoted as 1,000,000 dollars more over a lifetime compared to HS graduates–is getting misconstrued and over-stated since the cost of college has risen so quickly.  The benefits may have been there at some point, but they are quickly receding under the burden of college loan debt.

The risks are hefty. Half of students entering college never earn a degree. Six in ten African-Americans depart without one. “Hundreds of thousands of young people leave our higher education system unsuccessfully, burdened with large student loans that must be repaid, but without the benefit of the wages a college degree provides,” warned a 2004 Education Trust study.

What I think is even worse is that the loans seem to be growing the education bubble.  Many of the lenders’ practices certainly resemble the main contributions to the housing bubble (adjustable rate mortgages, etc.)…but what happens when students get out of college with tons of debt and a crappy job market?  I don’t think anyone can foreclose your college degree; but I would happily give my framed masters diploma up to be out of  the debt!

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Filed under: Education, for fun

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