College is like a Frat Boy…
…in the sense that it’s single mindedly trying little more than to screw you. Though admittedly the college is looking to screw you financially, which for some is a whole lot more dastardly than a one night stand with “Chad” (Yeah we all know what you really want Chad).
College tuition has been routinely increasing at a rate far higher than that of inflation (or any reasonable estimate of actual future costs). You might think to yourself, “Awesome! Now the professors are finally making the amount of money they deserve!”, but unfortunately this is not the case at all. This money isn’t going towards professors, it is going towards the amenities of the school, new pools, new gyms, random sculptures, and largely to the school President.
You can think of the School President as your own personal Lawmaker, they don’t actually do anything that benefits you but they get paid obscene amounts of money. If you question them on this, as my college did (Western Washington University) they will tell you that “The cost is a small price to pay for their expertise.” Which is entirely poppycock (a term I don’t use nearly enough), you could teach basically any person how to run the college with the same level of efficiency and at a fraction of the cost. Considering how much most people make this would still be a huge increase in pay for them.
Colleges are becoming, if they haven’t already, resorts. These institutions no longer have the graduation of their students in mind and it’s not even a priority, the worse a student does the longer they stay and the more they invest. The college has no motivation to lower prices because student loans are handed out with reckless abandon, you might ask yourself why they are so easy to get. The answer to that is simple and falls back on my previous topic of politics.
Both Federal Student Loans and Private Loans are non dischargeable in bankruptcy. This means that if you go into debt trying to get an education you are screwed for life unless that education suddenly earns you a job that can pay off the loans (Protip: It won’t). Why would such laws be put into place instead of requiring loan agencies to actually vet their clients? Well simply put it gives them complete control over the situation, they can hand out a million dollars this year and know with certainty that they’ll be able to milk it out of someone, be it the person they give the loan to or the family of that person, or if in the future that person dies then to that person’s kids. The problem lies in the logic that there will always be money to steal from somewhere.
College no longer exists for the same reason it once did, much like medicine cannot properly function as a for profit industry (as it has shown almost across the board) so too can the educational industry not function as a for profit industry. The idea that any society would let either fall into that model is so outlandish that I wouldn’t believe it in a story had it not already existed in reality.
Colleges are going to start failing, perhaps not all at once, but certainly all will if this current model does not change. It is another bubble formed from multiple levels of failure from the public level all the way to the political level. A perfect storm of greed, ignorance, and greedy ignorance (I see what I did there). The good news is there is no reason to worry about it, because too many people will fight for it to not change that it will stay the same.
Instead just make sure that you save up for your children, that if necessary you send them to a college outside of the country. Don’t take out loans, don’t let your friends or families take out loans, and make sure not to give this new model of College Resorts be a successful one, it is a blight on our society and it must be killed with one of the few tools left “Financial Atrophy”.
I would like to cite NakedLaw. They mention much of what I have above with sources and with eloquence that only a lawyer can provide. Though much of this was discussed Ad Nauseum in the school newspaper during my years in college. The President of the school basically (using flowery terms) called the entire school population ignorant and made sure they knew that only he could lead with any level of quality :P.
(Which was bull: Almost nobody on this planet can do something that anyone else couldn’t do with a fairly unchanging amount of training (10,000 hours). The trick is having the money to have the time to do the training :). It’s little more than that. For those wondering you have 5,840 hours each year of time you spend awake. The reason most experts become experts very young in life is that they most likely don’t have a job, not necessarily because they are youthful.)