Thursday, June 17, 2010

More signs of a bursting bubble in higher education

Glenn Reynolds on the grim pospects of law school students however what I'm excerpting is his thoughts on high education in general or I would apply it to higher education in general:
Just casualties of the recession? Or more signs of a bursting bubble? The only positive angle I can contribute is this: With a college degree now functioning, essentially, the way a high-school diploma used to, a law degree is the closest graduate equivalent to the traditional liberal-arts B.A. The biggest problem, though, is the staggering expense. Not all law schools are that expensive, but even state schools are pricey now, and for out-of-staters may cost as much as private schools. If I were looking at law school today I absolutely wouldn’t go into debt except for an absolute top school — like Yale, Stanford, Harvard. And even then I’d be wary. The debt is too enormous, and the prospects too uncertain — not only because of the economy, but because of the uncertain future even of big law firms.

Meanwhile, I have a structural solution: Make institutions of higher education partially liable when students are unable to pay student loans. A really strict system would make the school a co-signer, but making it even 5 or 10% liable for missed payments would really change the dynamic. Give schools some skin in the game. . . .
First point: What Reynolds describes is what I would describe how I might have pursued higher education. The more prestigious degree the better as I have today. Although if you describes the undergrad degree as functioning the way a high school diploma had in the past then I have one expensive high school diploma! If that's the case then I can understand why many would choose to go to a less-pricey state school.

Second point: I think I can agree with this. Is it in a school's best interest to allow students to take on a debt they may not be able to repay? I do think it's a students responsbility to know how much debt they can take on, however the school could be affect in other ways if a student can't repay the debt. Especially if such schools expect to recieve alumni donations at some point. Since I went to a pricey private college I have to deal with such a debt myself.

Another aspect to consider I suppose is maybe we may want to re-evaluate the expected outcome of an undergrad degree. What should it's value be today, should it be considered as functioning the same way as a high school diploma?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are now moderated because one random commenter chose to get comment happy. What doesn't get published is up to my discretion. Of course moderating policy is subject to change. Thanks!