FROM Richard Vedder
The Soaring Costs of College Tuition If you are a student or a parent of a student headed for college, the numbers are daunting: $240,000 for a private four year college. Even some state Universities can now cost upwards of $80,000. Half of all student federal loans are now in arrears. It all adds up to one question: Is college worth it? And if not, what’s being done to help students struggling with debt, and what alternatives are out there for kids questioning the value of liberal arts education at such a high price? We’ll look at alternative models to the traditional four year college, and question what the value is of a liberal arts education in dollars and cents.
Is Higher Education Worth What It Costs? The cost of college is rising at two or three times the rate of inflation and student loans are creating decades of debt. When the high-paying jobs promised graduates often aren't there, how long can this keep going on? Is the traditional "liberal arts education" obsolete in a changing economy or is the focus on critical thinking a pathway to economic opportunity? What about the "academic arms race" to raise faculty salaries, finance football teams and provide living quarters that compare to expensive hotels?
Rising Cost and the Future of Higher Education Tuition and other expenses have gone up so much there's now a consensus that higher education costs too much, at the same time it's more necessary than ever. Two-thirds of students are taking out loans, and collectively owe a trillion dollars — more than the total of credit card debt. Do the loans themselves allow colleges to spend more than they need to? Why are public universities also charging much more? Will cheap, online courses now offered by Stanford, Harvard, MIT and Google transform the college experience and make campuses obsolete? We hear from educators and a graduate who owes $55,000 in student loans.
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