To The Daily Sun,
If you're outraged about what a college education costs you will want to read this.
Since 1980 the cost of a college education has risen faster than inflation and far faster than family incomes. "Free college" as suggested by Bernie and Hillary is nothing but pure obfuscation and Band-Aid for the underlying problem.
From 1840 to 1978 inflation adjusted tuition rose at about 1 percent per year. The higher education act of 1965 initiated small grant programs, but it was Jimmy Carter in 1978 that exploded those programs. Since 1978 education costs have been rising at 3 percent per year. A better way to understand the impact of Carter's so-called "HELP". a college education today would cost half — that's right, half — of what it does if inflation had remained the same 1 percent it had for 138 years until Carter decided government would become a hero and he would get the votes for it.
Government aid programs to higher education are now 10 times the cost they were in 1970. Last year that tab was about $158 billion, all the while student debt has climbed to $1.3 trillion.
At more than 1,000 colleges and universities the majority of borrowers paid nothing back in the three years following graduation, while the number of student debtors over age 60 has quadrupled in just the last 120 months.
Research at the New York Federal Reserve suggests that in 2015 for every $1 of student aid 60 cents winds up as higher tuition fees. Student aid from government and states is seen as nothing but a slush fund to justify tuition hikes while the money lines the pockets of every one who works in higher education.
Let me break another inconvenient myth of student aid. More of it is needed to level the playing field to create more equality. That is pure baloney. The percentage of graduates from the bottom quartile has dropped. In 1970 it was over 12 percent. Today it is 10 percent from the bottom. That equates to more than a 16 percent decrease.
Worst of all, these aid programs have few performance standards, meaning there is little incentive to work hard after getting the money. As college enrollments have grown so have the number of graduates taking unskilled work as baristas, Uber drivers and retail clerks while the number to students failing to graduate and defaulting on debt is off the charts to record territory.
The federal governments entry in the student aid business has driven the cost of a college education to the moon. If you send a shopper off to buy a new car with bags bulging with gold coins strapped to their belt from government I guarantee the cost of cars will rise directly in proportion to the size of the bags. Neither will tuitions stop increasing until we stop strapping bags of gold coins to students. The coins have only increased their debt and that of taxpayers as well, while the average salary of a full tenured professor in America is $142,141.
It is no wonder educators never stop yelling for higher aid out of taxpayers hides. They are living high off the hog from it.
- Category: Letters
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