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Student Loans: The New Housing Bubble?

Student Loans: The New Housing Bubble?
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Yesterday, the New York Times's Economix blog wrote a piece addressing the hurdles that college bound students and their families will have to meet in the future.

Lisa Baldini
  • 16 february 2010

The New York Times’s Economix blog recently wrote a piece addressing the hurdles that college bound students and their families will have to meet in the future. Essentially, the for-profit growth adopted by both state and private universities is plaguing the quality of education as well as leaving students and parents with hefty debts that eclipse students’ potential earning capabilities. That said, a four-year bachelor’s degree is almost necessary to get the most menial jobs in our current climate. In this sense, the price of knowledge is establishing a new feudal system, whereby people are forced to take jobs that have nothing to do with their interests just to cope with the debt of pursuing knowledge of their interests.

What confounds this assumption is that access to information is more prevalent than ever from iTunes University to AAAARG. As such, we have become big advocates of open source education and learning, that is people who are willing to learn on their own or those willing to pass down their knowledge through other means than traditional higher education and its associated business practices. While this vision might exist in a utopian society, the reality that our European counterparts from Sweden to Ireland pay no fees for higher education shows countries with the courage to keep education about learning.

Now, it is completely valid to question the quality of a “free” education. The point being made here, and this goes back to the New York Times’s article, universities in a business environment have to establish the allure of a brighter future through their brand. Often, this means creating fancy facilities that eclipse the course offerings and direct attention between students and teachers, which only further forces the universities to raise the cost of tuition. Obviously, we will not just make every university free. However, maybe employers should focus less on a college degree setting the bar for a candidates qualifications.

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