Author Topic: Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds: For some, college investment no more valuable than ‘buying a Ferrari on credit’  (Read 548 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.theblaze.com/blog/#post-735947

Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds: For some, college investment no more valuable than ‘buying a Ferrari on credit’
Jan. 4, 2014 11:45am Benjamin Weingarten

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, University of Tennessee Law Professor, prolific blogger and Tweeter (@Instapundit) and author of the forthcoming “The New School” which we will be covering extensively at Blaze Books, argues that there is a bubble in education in which a debt-financed investment in one’s future for many no longer makes dollars and sense.

Reynolds argues:

 
Quote
  “When you could pay your way through college by waiting tables, the idea that you should “study what interests you” was more viable than it is today, when the cost of a four-year degree often runs to six figures. For an 18-year-old, investing such a sum in an education without a payoff makes no more sense than buying a Ferrari on credit.”


Following the pattern of a housing bubble similarly blown to satisfy government social engineering enabled by subsidies both implicit and explicit, Reynolds argues in the article that Congress helped create the education bubble ”with federally funded student aid, like Pell Grants and, in vastly greater dollar amounts, student loans.”

As a natural consequence of the money sloshing around in higher education, schools raised their tuitions, leading to a divergence between artificially-inflated price and value, and leaving “legions of students deep in debt without improving their job prospects.” A particularly perverse aspect of the increase on the cost side is that as Reynolds notes, the majority of cost growth “according to a 2010 study by the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank, comes from administrative bloat, with administrative staff growing at more than twice the rate of instructional staff.”

Reynolds’ response?

   
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“To make college a good value again, today’s parents and students need to be skeptical, frugal and demanding. There is no single solution to what ails higher education in the U.S., but changes are beginning to emerge, from outsourcing to online education, and they could transform the system.”


The University of Tennessee Professor suggests that there will be a correction in the education industry, as consumers (i.e. parents and students) seek greater value in education, and producers are forced to provide a superior product at a lower price.

On the consumer side:

   
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“America’s higher education problem calls for both wiser choices by families and better value from schools. For some students, this will mean choosing a major carefully (opting for a more practical area of study, like engineering over the humanities), going to a less expensive community college or skipping college altogether to learn a trade.”


On the producer side:
Quote
    “What’s really needed in U.S. higher education is major structural change. To remain viable, colleges and universities need to cut expenditures dramatically. For decades, they have ridden the student-loan gravy train, using the proceeds to build palatial buildings, reduce faculty teaching loads and, most notably, hire armies of administrators.”

The creative destruction in the education industry will take many forms, predicts Reynolds, including replacing expensive administrators with cheaper “adjunct administrators” as some schools have already done, increased transparency as a check on educational profligacy, new instructional methods akin to those of the Khan academy, degrees and alternative certifications which can be obtained through online courses including from physical schools and even “hoteling.”

What is hoteling?

   
Quote
“Build a nice campus—or buy one, from a defunct traditional school—put in a lot of amenities, but don’t bother hiring faculty: Just bring in your courses online, with engineering from Georgia Tech, arts and literature from Yale, business from Stanford and so on. Hire some unemployed Ph.D.s as tutors (there will be plenty around, available at bargain-basement rates) and offer an unbundled experience. It’s a business model that just might work, especially in geographic locations students favor. Grand Cayman is awfully nice this time of year.”


Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.

Be sure to read the whole thing, and look for our coverage of the “New School” which comes out Tuesday, January 7th in the coming days.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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and get rid of some of these worthless degrees. I forget who they were discussing earlier this week on Real News that had a degree no one had even heard of..... and the lack of intelligent discourse from the person in question was no surprise based on their degree.  We don't need to study things like sex in college. At the current cost of a college degree it better be for something useable not frivolous.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

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and get rid of some of these worthless degrees. I forget who they were discussing earlier this week on Real News that had a degree no one had even heard of..... and the lack of intelligent discourse from the person in question was no surprise based on their degree.  We don't need to study things like sex in college. At the current cost of a college degree it better be for something useable not frivolous.

Hey, maybe you didn't! I majored in it.  :tongue2:

Hopefully massadvj will weigh in from the sharp end, but I do have a small problem with defining frivolous.

Painting pictures on a ceiling is frivolous. Spending weeks attacking a block of marble with hammer and chisel is frivolous. Spending months creating a world in your head and describing that world on paper is frivolous. Yet all are valued.
Spending valuable teaching time playing with weights or looking at the sky was once deemed frivolous. The preserve of the rich, who can have their odd hobbies because they can afford them, yet look how that turned out. You never know what is going to be important.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Hey, maybe you didn't! I majored in it.  :tongue2:

Hopefully massadvj will weigh in from the sharp end, but I do have a small problem with defining frivolous.

Painting pictures on a ceiling is frivolous. Spending weeks attacking a block of marble with hammer and chisel is frivolous. Spending months creating a world in your head and describing that world on paper is frivolous. Yet all are valued.
Spending valuable teaching time playing with weights or looking at the sky was once deemed frivolous. The preserve of the rich, who can have their odd hobbies because they can afford them, yet look how that turned out. You never know what is going to be important.

Play around with majors which are unusable in the real world all you want if you have bottomless pockets and don't mind scrounging for a paying job.   You can't discharge student loans in bankruptcy and they are pretty stringent about expecting them to be paid back.  Many of these kids should be going to a trade school.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

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My niece expects to graduate this June in four years with a degree majoring in biology. She is not yet sure if she will become a Physicians Assistant, or an MD.

Her brother is majoring in business, intending to take over the family contracting business.

Both at Northern Arizona University. She told me the liberal bias is pervasive. She further said that when confronted with solid conservative arguments, the liberal students and professors simply fade into trite name calling, etc.

Their father, a multi-millionaire, makes them work part time.
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Play around with majors which are unusable in the real world all you want if you have bottomless pockets and don't mind scrounging for a paying job.   You can't discharge student loans in bankruptcy and they are pretty stringent about expecting them to be paid back.  Many of these kids should be going to a trade school.

Yes. They should. On that we totally agree.

Me - I blame college football. Won't dispute that a lot of football players are pretty smart, but retaining them meant offering low load, minimal work courses. If the courses are there, you can hardly have 2 guys in a class, so others got to sign up. It built from there.
The fastest way to a man's heart? Inch to the right of the breastbone, between the fourth and fifth rib.

Every time I start to feel boring, I remember there is a monthly magazine devoted to elevators.

Avatar courtesy of Oceander

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink

Offline Oceander

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Play around with majors which are unusable in the real world all you want if you have bottomless pockets and don't mind scrounging for a paying job.   You can't discharge student loans in bankruptcy and they are pretty stringent about expecting them to be paid back.  Many of these kids should be going to a trade school.

Student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy after a reasonable period of time, and after that should be dischargeable on the same basis that garden variety business loans are dischargeable.

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Many of these kids should be going to a trade school.

But national leaders have told teens and families that EVERYBODY can go to college.

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I believe I made that analogy on this very board just a few days ago, to-wit, young people getting in debt to buy a Cadillac when all they needed was a Chevy. With regard to college degrees in sex, wymyn's studies and the like, it's more like buying a Ferrari without no engine. Pretty darn useless.
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

Offline kevindavis

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I believe I made that analogy on this very board just a few days ago, to-wit, young people getting in debt to buy a Cadillac when all they needed was a Chevy. With regard to college degrees in sex, wymyn's studies and the like, it's more like buying a Ferrari without no engine. Pretty darn useless.

You mean lesbian studies???
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

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Offline kevindavis

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There is nothing wrong with vocational education and it is a shame that many schools dropped it.  Here is what I'm seeing:

1. There are kids who are going to college just to party
2. There are kids who are going to college who really can't handle it.

It seems that the Government is propping up big ed..
"Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn't get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I'm trying to get ... I'll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future."

Ronald Reagan

"We must continue to go into space for humanity.” - Dr. Stephen Hawking

Offline Chieftain

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There is nothing wrong with vocational education and it is a shame that many schools dropped it.  Here is what I'm seeing:

1. There are kids who are going to college just to party
2. There are kids who are going to college who really can't handle it.

It seems that the Government is propping up big ed..

Yep!  In Germany there is a long standing system of apprenticeships with major manufacturers who take on school age students to learn the basics of heavy industries from the ground up.  Young high school students could well find themselves on the floor of a steel mill, foundry, or any other heavy industry that participates.  It gives the businesses an enormous pool of talent to draw from, saves them a fortune in training costs and ensures them a steady, highly qualified work force far into the future.  It also significantly lowers unemployment among youths and steers many of them into the path of a well paid career for life.  I'm sure the German government participates in some manner in all of this as well, but I am unsure of the exact details, and it probably differs from German State to German State.

I do agree that our government and higher ed system in this country is propping up tenured professors who make a lot of money teaching subjects that contribute little or nothing to our economy except ever rising levels of staggering student debt.

Offline olde north church

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But national leaders have told teens and families that EVERYBODY can go to college.

The best advice a college president can give!
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline SouthTexas

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Play around with majors which are unusable in the real world all you want if you have bottomless pockets and don't mind scrounging for a paying job.   You can't discharge student loans in bankruptcy and they are pretty stringent about expecting them to be paid back.  Many of these kids should be going to a trade school.

Have a grandson that is actually taking welding in high school. Problems there too, the first several weeks, all they got was OSHA regulations.  That is something that will really peak a teenagers interests!



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