I shared a variety of articles on student debt and financing education this month. Here they are, all in one place. You will find essential reading if you work in higher education and believe student success reaches beyond grades and graduation.
Great article from Washington Post financial report Ylan Q. Mui on the burden of student loan debt for Americans 60 and older.
…Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans, providing a rare window into the dynamics of student debt. More than 10 percent of those loans are delinquent. As a result, consumer advocates say, it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished or for debt collectors to harass borrowers in their 80s over student loans that are decades old. ~Ylan Q. Mui
The Census Bureau announced that three in ten adults held a bachelor’s degree in 2011. This is quite a jump considering that as recently as 1998 less than 25% of adults had a four-year degree. Regretfully, our global ranking for college degrees is still dropping. Despite continuing arguments about the value of certain degrees, it makes you think this whole college education thing may be catching on.
…the data suggest that going to school remains a shrewd investment. Median monthly pay for a professional degree reached $11,927 in 2009. That was more than twice the monthly pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree: $5,445. By contrast, a high school diploma was worth $3,179 a month, and an elementary school education yielded $2,136 a month. ~Daniel de Vise, Washington Post
More on the value of a college education…
I have written before about how challenging I find suggestions that college has no value. When research suggests that learning or critical thinking is not occurring on the college campus, I know that I see otherwise at my university, with my students. Does the academe have work to do? You bet. But creating a society of education privilege where only certain individuals are encouraged to pursue a degree is not an answer.
This Chronicle editorial suggests we are already creating that privilege by pricing a large portion of the population out of the higher education pool.
…going to college is worth it, but going to any college at any price may no longer be worth it. ~Jeff Selingo
But for another viewpoint here is an interesting debate of whether too many students are attending college. It highlights the argument that increased access to higher education has little influence on economic growth. And although I find this argument insulting to education and our students, it is worthy for discussion. Who decides who attends college?
To ask whether too many people are going to college begs another question: If too many people are going to college, then who are these people? How should we as a society ration a more restricted level of educational opportunity? ~Peter Sacks
Consider the students in your office today. Which ones could you single out as not being eligible for higher education?
Student loan debt has surpassed total credit card debt in the United States, reaching more than $1 trillion this year. That’s trillion with twelve zeroes. Student debt is a recurring topic here, so these 10 Tips for Zapping Student Loan Debt may be worth a look.
More on the student debt challenge:
My university named a new president last week and I was excited to learn that he has goals similar to mine in the area of decreasing student debt. This is a topic that is of great interest for me as I counsel first-generation college students, many of whom borrow large amounts of money through federal, institutional and private sources to meet expenses. As we reside in a state where 85 percent of the state’s need-based grants support students enrolled in private, not-for-profit colleges with only 6 percent supporting students enrolled in public colleges and universities, change will not be easy
It’s increasingly difficult for the middle class to afford a high-quality public education. That’s a huge concern of mine. Our long-term goal would be that any qualified Iowan could graduate debt free. That’s the direction we want to be going. ~Steven Leath, president-elect
More on the student debt challenge: