College Debt Explodes, Senate Fiddles
#1
Load up on student debt now! Dear Leader will change the rules to allow bankruptcy discharge and dump another trillion dollars in debt on the taxpayers.

"One-class-a-week" professors earning ridiculous salaries? Can we think of any self-appointed "experts" in the UIUC physics department who fit that description???

Quote:Senate Fiddles While College Debt Explodes
Bruce Bialosky
Nov 19, 2012

America’s accumulated college-loan debt will surpass $1 trillion this year; what is our leadership doing about it? The Obama Administration took over the student loan market and expanded Pell Grants, but hasn’t accomplished anything to address the root cause of the crisis: exploding college fees and related costs. The only thing they’ve done is criticize innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), issued a new report calling into question the costs and performance of For-Profit universities. There are actually hundreds of these schools, perhaps the most well-known being University of Phoenix and Devry University. The report provides some damning statistics about For-Profits which should concern us all, since a large amount of free federal money (Pell Grants) is handed out to their students. Their cost of recruiting is much higher than private and public universities (the Establishment), and their four-year graduation rate 31 percent compared to 52 percent for Establishment schools.

When I read the report and its analysis, my only thought was “Wow! Is the committee staff really this dense?” Here are a few points:

1. Wouldn’t you expect the graduation rates to be lower at For-Profits? After all, how many of the best students in the country are going to University of Phoenix rather than Yale, Stanford, UCLA, or Texas? It’s obvious that they’re not attracting top-tier students, so it makes sense that their dropout rate would be higher.

2. The fact that more money is spent on recruitment also makes sense. Every high school in America has guidance counselors who direct students to Establishment colleges. Have you ever heard of a high school counselor telling a student that he should be going to Devry? The report leads one to believe that Establishment schools average a little over one staff person who does recruiting. Obviously, the people who compiled that statistic never had a kid go to college. That is just foolish.

3. The report also talks about the cost per student, but the numbers used don’t reflect the huge costs underwritten by states for public schools, or the cost to the federal treasury for tax deductions taken for “charitable” donations to Establishment schools. The comparison of costs is absolutely and totally slanted.

This is the fourth “study” done by this committee on For-Profit colleges in the last two years. And how many have been done on Establishment schools? Zero. One might come to the conclusion that someone has a vendetta against For-Profit schools. Since the Committee Chair is Senator Harkin, the finger must be pointed at him.

When I discussed the issue with Elizabeth Donovan, Deputy Press Secretary for HELP, she indicated that there had indeed been hearings on the Establishment schools and at my request kindly sent me copies of the witness statements. It struck me as strange that all of the testimony came from representatives of public schools, even though private schools (except Hillsdale College) receive substantial federal money.

I asked Ms. Donovan why representatives of private schools were not included, but she was unwilling to answer. I then asked whether there would be any similar studies released on Establishment schools. Again, she was unwilling to reply. But on September 13, 2012, the committee held a two-hour hearing on the soaring costs of Establishment schools. They concluded that costs are escalating because states are cutting their higher education budgets, and that schools are holding committee meetings and discussions in an effort to control costs. The reaction of the Senate committee was basically – that’s cool.

To its credit, the Republican minority, headed by Senator Enzi (R-Wyoming), issued a statement denouncing the For-Profit study. While acknowledging challenges in these particular schools, they asked the big question: why is so much effort being spent on For-Profit colleges, which represents 10% of the education industry, while Establishment schools, which represent 90%, are being ignored? It’s like focusing on your child’s performance in P.E. when they are failing math, English, and social studies. The minority enumerated the many reasons why the full report had been manipulated to make the industry look bad. And it questioned why Senator Harkin is unwilling to address the main issue – Establishment schools piling huge amounts of debt onto the public without a shred of accountability.

We deserve some real answers. Young adults are told that if they want to succeed, they must graduate from college. Today, parents are breaking themselves financially and their children are piling up ridiculous levels of debt. Increasingly, students are graduating with little hope of finding a job lucrative enough to pay off their debt, or with a degree that is useless for obtaining a position. And yet nobody asks why schools are issuing degrees in silly majors or why so many schools promote majors for which there is little demand for the graduates. More important, why are costs soaring way above the inflation rate, and why are the rapidly-increasing numbers of administrators getting paid so much? How about the falsehood of “not-for-profit” schools whose “one-class-a-week” professors earn salaries as high as $300,000 and college presidents earn $500,000 and up? There is nothing “not for profit” for these schools except their misleading titles.

Richard Cordray, Elizabeth Warren’s stand-in at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, broached the subject of why student loans are excluded from bankruptcy and suggested a rule change. I suspect that President Obama may in his second term run with this proposal, which means that a large portion of another $1 trillion – as well as any debt incurred in the future – will be dumped on the shoulders of American taxpayers. The Administration bemoans the debt level, but does nothing to correct the root causes. Obama’s ally in the Senate spends his time fiddling with 10% of the schools while Rome is burning.

Then again, is anyone really surprised?
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#2
The vastest bulk of the higher education dream-machine is rotten. The State VS for-profit debate ends up increasingly looking like a Hitler VS Stalin debate, whereby people swap zero signs in order to make either look better or worse for petty political reasons' sake. As with Hitler or Stalin, life was so-so for the bulk (=acceptable debt) who minded their own business and tried to see the donut and not the hole, a breeze for a minority (=easy debt) and hell or extermination for another minority (back-breaking debt).
The problem lies with the dream-machine business model, with academia serving as gilded parking lot for pseudo-politicians to serve their bankrollers, paymasters and godfathers by proxy (=the fiction of academic standards), with varsity sport and campuses turned megalopolises.
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#3
(11-20-2012, 06:07 AM)Martin Eisenstadt Wrote: Load up on student debt now!

Looks like people have been taking your advice. Are they expecting loan amnesty?

Quote:Student Loan Debt has Tripled in Last 8 Years
Heather Ginsberg
Mar 01, 2013 07:00 AM EST

Well, if you have a child going to college any time soon expect some major debt. Now we often hear that college loan debt is getting worse and that costs are skyrocketing, but now we have a new study proving it. According to a new report from the New York Federal Reserve, total student loan debt has tripled over the last 8 years.

The report finds a correlation between student debt and future issues with borrowing in other borrowing situations in life. For instance, the percentage of people who are buying homes and have student loan debt has fallen from 9 to 4 percent. The mortgage market is not so favorable to those with a large amount of debt already.

Many people are now thinking about the domino affect of student debt on the economy. Now young adults who are dealing with student loan debt are dealing with the choices of what to do about paying back their loans. In the previous decades, many would use large portions of their paychecks to pay down the debt. But instead it is looking like many students now are using their paychecks to spend on other things and are simply paying minimal amounts down on their debts.

The growth in student loan debt is due to more students attending college, more parents taking out loans to cover their child’s education and not having many options to discharge the debt. With the sequester slowly approaching it is no surprise that this is just another issue that we must all think about when it comes to budgeting the future. Spending is a major issue in this country right now, and until the economy gets better, it seems that this will continue to be one of those cyclical issues that will fix itself when things get better.
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#4
Here's a great idea that will never get off the ground. Make the schools pay when the students default.

Quote:Time for colleges to have skin in the game-They need to guarantee student loans
by Ed Farnan on March 7, 2013

America’s student loan debt is in excess of 1 trillion dollars; it is believed this will be our next huge financial crisis as these loans go into default.

One of the reasons people are having a difficult time repaying their student debt, is that they can’t find jobs as newly minted college graduates. See the 10 worst college degrees by Forbes.

Granted the economy is in the doldrums and good jobs are hard to find. But a college education was sold to these students by the education industry as their ticket to a good paying job.

Let’s use some outcome based education for a change. If you are going to let a student burden him/herself with a huge debt in order to graduate from your school, you should have some skin in the game. Colleges should have to guarantee these loans, instead of laying that debt off onto taxpayers if the student defaults. Perhaps there would be a change in admissions, stricter standards and heavier counseling.

Right now colleges and universities have the best of all worlds. Many are in receipt of government funding, many have endowments and almost all are the recipients of an unending stream of government guaranteed tuition. There is no incentive for them to see if the student loans ever get paid back.

It’s a one way street in the higher education system and it’s time to make some changes. . These easy government backed student loans are correlated to rising costs. Colleges have every incentive to raise costs knowing the loans will be adjusted upward to reflect those costs.

Colleges should have job placement programs for the students they graduate. There needs to be some responsibility from the higher education system and some accountability.

Should taxpayers be put on the hook for a college graduate with a liberal arts degree who can’t find a job? Or if the jobs available with those degrees are low paying and will never be able to justify the student loan amount?

Additionally, let’s face it, many of those attending college aren’t college material and should be learning a trade or craft. Skilled craftsmen make on average far more than many college graduates. Why aren’t colleges and universities offering these types of educations?

The country has a problem supplying the manpower needs of our high tech sector, so much of a problem, that special laws are being created to allow foreign workers into our country that have the math and engineering skills necessary to work in this environment.

We should be proactively pushing students to get educations in the sectors the country desperately has a shortage in, even offering discount tuition, etc. Perhaps even using a hybrid of the voucher system that the Friedman Foundation is promoting for public school choice and introduce some competition.

If a student wants a degree in ethnic/gender studies, music appreciation, law and a whole host of liberal arts that don’t necessarily translate into lucrative careers, then there should be an agreement between the college and the student over how the tuition gets paid. Let colleges aid the student in finding scholarship help, etc.

We saw the problem that unfulfilled promises academic institutions made to students when our cities were clogged with Occupy Wall Street. Many of these young people expressed anger at their inability to find a job, a good paying job with the liberal arts degrees they possessed. They felt they were lied to by their education institutions…in a way they were.

There is also growing unrest among students who are seeing their ever increasing college tuitions rise, while chancellors and educators don’t take a hit and in fact get raises.

Here is an excerpt from an excellent expose’ by Joseph Palermo in the California State University system:

“Last year, CSU executives were paid between $240,000 and $400,000 in salary alone. On top of that, each executive is allotted $12,000 per year as an auto allowance. Campus Presidents and the Chancellor each receive either state-owned homes or housing allowances of $50,000 or $60,000 per year. Other perks available to executives include special retirement packages such as lifetime employment as a tenured professor.”

Looking at the above salaries you can see these educators are insulated from the realities that many graduates face after they leave their institutes of higher education. Instead of raises, many of them should be fired. Let’s get some accountability into education
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#5
Again the same bunkum. While it may be true that liberal arts degrees aren't intrinsically as good as technical degrees, now surprise surprise LAW is a useless category of liberal arts degrees...I read others including ACCOUNTING...
I have news for you...I personally know graduates in molecular biology, statistics and engineering who either can't find a job -let alone a 'good one'-, or work seasonal jobs.
Now the bastards tell you that instead of splurging 50/80/100.000 on a law degree, one should splurge half of that on a professional certificate in welding or underwater basket weaving to compete with incoming hordes of speakers of Urdu, Farsi, Marathi and Cantonese...
I have news for you again...in this locale there are as many plumbers, landscapers, welders and construction workers as there are pub owners, dentists, newsstand owners etc: too many already.
Look at the yellow pages.
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#6
You can see it coming down Main Street: student loan amnesty. Load up now so you can get it forgiven when the bubble pops.

Quote:Federal Direct Student Loans Up Nearly Fivefold Under Obama
Terry Jeffrey
Mar 20, 2013

Shortly before Congress enacted the Obamacare law in March 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

When President Obama ultimately signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act -- one of the two bills comprising Obamacare -- he gave a speech celebrating one of its surprises: language that terminated the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program that allowed federally guaranteed student loans to be made in the private sector with private capital, thus giving the Federal Direct Student Loan (DL) program a monopoly over these loans.

As the Congressional Research Service has put it, this program makes the U.S. Treasury a "banker" for college students.

"The DL program uses a different administrative structure and draws on a different source of capital than was used in the FFEL program," said a CRS report published on March 4. "Under the DL program, the federal government essentially serves as the banker -- it provides the loans to students and their families using federal capital (i.e., funds from the U.S. Treasury), and it owns the loans."

For Obama, this was the perfect arrangement -- allowing what he described as a redistribution wealth from banks to college students.

"For almost two decades, we've been trying to fix a sweetheart deal in federal law that essentially gave billions of dollars to banks to act as unnecessary middlemen in administering student loans," Obama said when he signed the bill at Northern Virginia Community College. "These are billions of dollars that could have been spent helping more of our students attend and complete college, that could have been spent advancing the dreams of our children, that could have been spent easing the burden of tuition on middle-class families. Instead, that money was spent padding student lenders' profits."

Last week, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Sen. Marco Rubio, who said he had just finished paying off more than $100,000 in student loans, presented a far different picture of the program.

"You should be very concerned about student loan debt," he said. "It is the next big bubble in America."

So, now that the U.S. Treasury is the banker for the federal student loan program, what is happening with student-loan debt?

The hard numbers can be found in the Monthly Treasury Statements (MTS). Table 6, Schedule E in these statements lists the account balances for federally guaranteed and direct loan programs.

In January 2000, according to the MTS, the balance of the Federal Direct Student Loan program was $51.643 billion. Over the next eight years, that nearly doubled, rising to $101.682 billion in January 2008.

In January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated, the balance of the Federal Direct Student Loan program was $119.803 billion. In June 2010, the last month that private-sector lenders could make federally guaranteed student loans, the balance was $178.806 billion. In February 2013, the latest month reported, it was $588.048 billion.

The balance in Federal Direct Student Loan program has increased nearly fivefold under Obama.

And it continues to rapidly expand. "In FY 2013, ED (the Department of Education) estimates that 22.5 million new DL program Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans, averaging $5,366 each and totaling $120.8 billion, will be made to undergraduate and graduate students and the parents of undergraduate dependent students," said the CRS in its March 4 report.

It is not clear whether the government actually expects all of these students to repay these loans.

The CRS report describes numerous ways students can get out of paying back all they owe in a timely manner to the taxpayers.

For example, the loans offer an "Income-Based Repayment Plan" -- or IBR. "The IBR plan is designed to present borrowers the opportunity to make monthly payment amounts based on the relationship between their student loan debt and their income," said CRS. "It affords borrowers who experience prolonged periods of low income the prospect of debt forgiveness."

Then there is the "Income-Contingent Repayment Plan" -- or ICR. "Repayment according to the ICR plan also affords borrowers the opportunity to make loan payment amounts based on the relationship between their student loan debt and their income; and the prospect of debt forgiveness for those who experience prolonged periods with low incomes."

If these don't work, CRS says the secretary of education is authorized to "establish alternative payment plans for borrowers of DL program loans who demonstrate that they are unable to repay according to other available repayment plans due to exceptional circumstances."

Even some graduates who can afford to pay their debt to the taxpayers, CRS reports, can have "DL program loans forgiven, cancelled or repaid as an incentive for entering certain occupations or professions, or for performing certain types of public service."

The bottom line: As an increasing number of Americans borrow money directly from the U.S. Treasury for finance college, there will be an increasing interest among Washington politicians to forgive this debt and redistribute wealth not from bankers to students, but from people who never went to college, or who did and paid for it themselves, to people who attended college on the Obamacare plan.
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#7
Quote:"For almost two decades, we've been trying to fix a sweetheart deal in federal law that essentially gave billions of dollars to banks to act as unnecessary middlemen in administering student loans,"

Come on, he's right here.
Mostly, what so-called conservative buffoons term the free market is just a private firm -possibly appointed on the biased ground of political allegiance and connections- hogging state subsidies that ought NOT to be there to start with: what a joke.
In fact, what constitutes the biggest share of for-profit schools' income?
Public subsidies of one form or another, hogged by enrolling the stereotypical single mom of color, the Hispanic middle school dropout and their friends who -according to the conservative pipe dream- ought to have been filtered through more rigorous testing or something.
So deep down you get public subsidies, which YOU pay for, with fabulous lefties and righties haggling over whose friends get the biggest bite.
PFFT!
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#8
It's not like the mortgage bubble; they can't foreclose on your education! Git 'em while the gittin' is good.

Quote:Is the student loan bubble about to pop?
By: John Hayward
3/26/2013 02:16 PM

[Image: student-debt.jpg]

Reuters brings grim tidings from the world of America’s debt-encrusted college students:

Quote:Banks wrote off $3 billion of student loan debt in the first two months of 2013, up more than 36 percent from the year-ago period, as many graduates remain jobless, underemployed or cash-strapped in a slow U.S. economic recovery, an Equifax study showed.

The credit reporting agency also said Monday that student lending has grown from last year because more people are going back to school and the cost of higher education has risen.

“Continued weakness in labor markets is limiting work options once people graduate or quit their programs, leading to a steady rise in delinquencies and loan write-offs,” Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in a statement.

The total student loan debt burden is over $1 trillion now, and the cost of tuition has been rising steadily. Reuters portrays these rising costs as a reason students are taking out bigger loans, although others would say the availability of easy loan money has inspired those soaring tuition rates:

Quote:The cost of earning a 4-year undergraduate degree has gone up by 5.2 percent per year in the last decade, according to the CFPB, forcing more students to take out loans. While other forms of debt went down, student loan debt continued to rise through the economic crisis.

Delinquencies have spiked in the last eight years, with about 17 percent of the nearly 40 million student loan borrowers at least 90 days past due on their repayments, a February report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank showed.

Not only is this tottering mountain of debt another bank crisis in the making, but student loan defaults ruin a young person’s credit for other purposes, making them less economically useful as consumers. Proposed solutions to the problem range from debt restructuring to simplifying the process of applying for a repayment plan students can live with.

Some charts published at NakedCapitalism in early March include a bleak assessment of student loan delinquency eclipsing credit card delinquency, which is “particularly ugly given that student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It’s more rational to get in arrears on anything else, since you have some hope of negotiating for a restructuring.”

[Image: loan_delinquency.jpg]

Some of the major reasons to think of this as an alarming financial “bubble” are the unconvincing arguments emanating from those who don’t think it’s a bubble. For example, the Atlantic says there’s nothing to worry about because, unlike the subprime mortgage A-bomb, there’s not much student loan debt being traded on the open market:

Quote:If the mortgage market was a Costco-sized superstore of exotic investment vehicles, the trade in education debt is more like your local bodega. At the height of the housing bubble, the banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac combined to issue trillions of dollars worth of mortgage backed securities a year, then placed huge sides bets on them using credit default swaps. By comparison, Sallie Mae (again, the biggest name in private student lending) sold just $13.8 billion worth of student-loan-backed securities in 2012, according to its annual report.

What’s more, most of those bonds were extremely safe. That’s because they were made up of debt issued under old Family Federal Education Loan Program, in which the government guaranteed student loans made by banks. Tax payers could sadly end up on the hook for those assets if students start defaulting en masse (frustrating, I know), but they won’t ever blow up Wall Street, especially because unlike mortgages, banks don’t use student-debt-backed assets as collateral to secure their day to day.

Nothing to worry about – when the bubble pops, it’ll just be us poor old taxpaying chumps with a trillion dollars of shrapnel buried in our faces. What’s another trillion dollars in public debt? That’s only a dozen times the size of the sequester cuts that brought Barack Obama’s government crashing down in flames. Would the currently fashionable liberal response be that debt is irrelevant, as long as the government gets to keep spending its accustomed boatloads of money? Or have they resumed pretending to care about the national debt to use it as leverage for tax increases yet?

And if debt is just abstract numbers on a spreadsheet Uncle Sam can rejigger without limit, how long will it be before vote-seeking politicians begin floating debt forgiveness as a way to gobble up the youth vote? The student loan bubble has inflated tuition rates, devalued college education (which is now taken for granted as serving the role high school diplomas filled a generation or two ago – a certification of minimal educational competence) and turned a large number of young adults into debt serfs. People are going broke trying to pay for diplomas they can’t really use, thanks to the moribund job market. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the situation is that it’s not as bad as the subprime mortgage crisis.
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#9
Quote:Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the situation is that it’s not as bad as the subprime mortgage crisis.

Not so fast there, Hayward. Now they are saying the government's student loan mess will "dwarf" the government's mortgage fiasco. This is Cloward-Piven in action; the system is being overloaded and soon will be destroyed. Fog a mirror, get a loan.

Quote:Easy credit is inflating a massive student-loan bubble

[Image: student_loans.jpg]

By: Steven Greenhut
6/21/2013 09:20 AM

Americans are still talking about the recently deflated housing bubble, but there’s a new bubble in town. It’s the student loan bubble and when this one pops, it might dwarf the wreckage we’ve witnessed in the real-estate markets.

In the latest news, the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors warned that soaring student-loan debt has “parallels to the housing crisis,” according to a May report in Bloomberg. As with housing, free-flowing cash will lead to widespread default. Of course, it’s easier to repossess a tract house than to take back a potentially worthless degree.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dismissed these concerns by saying that most of the money in the student-loan sector is federal money, which just means taxpayers – rather than lending institutions – will take the initial hit. But the board of governors makes a salient point as student loan debt soars to $1 trillion and exceeds the nation’s level of credit-card debt.

“The bankers said student lending shares features of the housing crisis including ‘significant growth of subsidized lending in pursuit of a social good,’ in this case higher education instead of expanded home ownership,” according to that Bloomberg report. “The lending has put upward pressure on tuition, just as the mortgage lending boom led to rising home prices, they said, calling both examples of a ‘lack of underwriting discipline.’”

For my entire life, I’ve heard policy makers insist that there is insufficient funding for education and that getting a college degree is the pathway to a better life. But as the bankers noted, the sea of student-loan money artificially boosts the cost of tuition, which creates a new cycle of indebtedness by students. Higher tuition makes “pay-as-you-go” a less-likely option.

Lax student loans make it easier for colleges to spend money poorly. If the federal government provides a loan to virtually anyone who applies for one, then university administrations can spend foolishly. There’s so much money, why not hike salaries and pensions for professors? Why not offer programs and majors that are of questionable intellectual or economic merit?

I know people with six-figure loan debt, multiple degrees and few job prospects. There were few lending standards – hey, it’s only government money – so they racked up loan after loan. Others use loans to gain useful degrees with lucrative job potential, but these graduates come out of school with a crushing load of debt that will take decades to repay.

In 2012, Congress debated a controversy surrounding for-profit colleges, which receive about a quarter of the total federal Title IV student aid programs. The impetus was the latest iteration of the GI bill for active military and veterans, who often choose for-profit education programs.

“These colleges use high-pressure sales tactics to ensnare veterans, promising them a high-quality education and a ‘guaranteed job,’ and urging them to sign up on the spot,” according to Jerome Kohlberg, in an opinion piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They lock themselves into long-term commitments, turn over their GI education benefits and sign up for student loans to cover the difference.”

The alleged abuses at some for-profit colleges have reminded some critics of abuses by the subprime mortgage industry. But these problems are almost solely the result of easy access to government dollars. Indeed, public universities do the same thing – lure students into long-term debt commitments based on a free flow of federal dollars, even if they don’t use the high-pressure tactics used by some recruiters in the private educational business. For-profit and non-profit universities rely heavily on government tuition subsidies.

Many government employees, by the way, receive automatic pay boosts when they receive additional education, so this government-funded system ratchets up government spending throughout the entire taxpayer-funded system.

When I attended college, only the rarest student stayed on campus beyond four years. Many received degrees in less than four years. Now, it’s typical for students to take six years to get through a California State University program. The education establishment claims the problem is the result of too little money, but it’s the opposite. There is so much money available to anyone with a pulse that there are too many students on campus and not enough classes for them.

Look at the large portion of students taking remedial courses, which reminds us that more college doesn’t always equal a better education.

Given that students who get themselves in financial trouble can’t unload their debt through bankruptcy, easy college tuition money can mean a lifetime of personal debt problems. These problems are the result of government officials pushing a social good – i.e., broader college attendance, or, in the real estate market, broader home ownership.

The housing bubble was inflated by government-dictated lending policies designed to expand home ownership by requiring banks to make loans to people who couldn’t meet traditional down-payment and credit standards. And government policies designed to expand educational opportunities have inflated the cost of tuition, cheapened the value of education and burdened new generations with crushing debt loads.

Yet those of us who call for less government meddling and more private-sector discipline are the ones considered heartless.
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