In an interview with Sarah Lacy for Tech Crunch, he expresses that, although not a complete lie, higher education isn’t always as beneficial as our society likes to think. We are taught from a young age that the world will be without worries for those who try hard and graduate from a college or university, and that financial hardships will not even be a notion in our minds. Thiele thinks higher education can be counterproductive in this aspect and Lacy seems to agree with this. “.. He idea that attending Harvard is all about learning? Yeah. No one pays a quarter of a million dollars Just to read Chaucer,” says the interviewer.
There’s this idea that the more you pay for an education or the more prestigious the institution you attend, the better the Job and income you will enjoy in the end. Thiele suggest that this is blown out of proportion and the main reason why graduates struggle to escape debt at old age. I can vouch for this, as I know several people who are well in their ass’s and still owe thousands in college loans. Now, I have et to meet someone who paid a quarter of a million dollars in loans and is still drowning in fees, but the situation of being indebted years after graduation is commonplace.
Again, this makes expensive higher education counterproductive. To add insult to injury, the average lifetime earnings of a person with a bachelor’s degree is $2. 1 million(according to the U. S. Census Bureau), which, for the sake of comparison, is not too exciting. In short, I do think that our own ignorance plays a big part in the unnecessary and ironic debt that results from not doing a little research. Similarly, the same can be said about for-profit institutions; as previously mentioned, there’s a misconception that paying more for an education equals entitlement to better employment opportunities.
USA Today indicates that “.. The average one charged about $14,000 in tuition in 2009.. The average community college charged $2,500, [while] the average four-year public university charged $7,000. ” For-profit universities, then, are partly responsible for this false illusion that students adopt and act upon. The latter will largely opt for a university with a big name, rather than en with great reputation for educational quality. But are these institutions doing anything wrong? Well, yes and no. Making cash is a basic human right, but to what extent?
When universities knowingly partake in exaggerating the value of attending their campuses, consequently placing prospective students in potentially dangerous positions, it’s time to rethink their credibility. Finally, in Federal Student Aid is Driving Tuition Prices Higher, Professor David Hurwitz notes that colleges and universities have their pay guaranteed when federal student loans are involved, and so take the elution; the government should save themselves the student aid money, pass it on to educational institutions to cover their costs, and in turn the latter should be able to offer inexpensive tuition.
This stands out to me as one of the more interesting theories and solutions because of how unexpected it is. Student aid exists to help, but did we ever stop to critically think about the indirect implications? It’s definitely something to think about and from a logical standpoint, it’s convincing enough. Taking all of this into account, I have to reiterate that there is nothing that can hold he absolute responsibility over this. I would like to conclude with a direct, one sided conclusion, but the truth is this may be a combination of various things.
I will even go as far as to say this is a continuous cycle with no end for the foreseeable future. Are we hitting the right notes to promote realistic expectations after graduation? The obvious answer is no. Even if we were, are people willing to let go of the “four more years and my life is definitely secure” mindset? Are major educational, or any kind of, institutions content to see lower profits in favor of a society abundant in promising young minds? Greed is a powerful thing.
On that note, how long would it take after a reduction in federal student aid for big-name universities to find another exploit? Oblige every college and university to be upfront about the risks and expectations, and students might still ignore this and choose to listen to only what they grew up on and like to hear. Take away student aid completely and, even with the cheaper tuition, you alienate those who can least afford it(and lose potential in the process).
Organize workshops for students to look into other alternatives, and you risk making colleges obsolete in the long run. I can say with all sincerity, this is not an uninspired, generalized, indecisive answer, but a genuine belief that as long as one part of the problem remains, there will be another sneaking up behind waiting to take its place. It’s a matter of everyone taking a critical look into themselves and at the choices available, but it’s mostly a matter of putting an end to our collective ignorance and the educational institutions’ greed.