The Chronicle of Higher Education is running a series of articles in this issue about the state of higher education and the history that led us to its current state.
The short version is that economic downturns and private sector commitments to paying as little taxes as possible has led to cuts in state budgets. Rises in tuition costs are exactly proportional in many cases to cuts in state budgets for education, and in order to drive up admissions, colleges are increasingly investing in sports and amenities rather than in qualified educators.
The result is that the business sector is getting what they’re paying for in the form of low-skilled college grads, the costs of college are being increasingly pushed onto the public in the form of debt, and a new debt crisis is looming as college graduates are increasingly unemployable or underemployed, making it difficult to repay these student loans.
Colleges and universities can be more responsible in their spending patterns too, but that by itself isn’t enough to reverse this situation.
You might think it’s smart to just pass by college altogether, but with a few exceptions, bad prospects for college grads mean worse ones for those without a college education.
The only winners will be the financial sector — at your expense.
Keep in mind that you’re already paying taxes for public education, and you’re not receiving the benefits of those taxes.
Take your time and read through these reports. They’re important.