photo credit: keko.
Since 1978, the price of tuition at US colleges has increased over 900 percent, 650 points above inflation. To put that number in perspective, housing prices, the bubble that nearly burst the US economy, then the global one, increased only fifty points above the Consumer Price Index during those years. But while college applicants’ faith in the value of higher education has only increased, employers’ has declined. According to Richard Rothstein at The Economic Policy Institute, wages for college-educated workers outside of the inflated finance industry have stagnated or diminished. Unemployment has hit recent graduates especially hard, nearly doubling in the post-2007 recession. The result is that the most indebted generation in history is without the dependable jobs it needs to escape debt.
What kind of incentives motivate lenders to continue awarding six-figure sums to teenagers facing both the worst youth unemployment rate in decades and an increasingly competitive global workforce?
“Bad Education,” by Malcolm Harris, n+1, April 25, 2011
- Higher education bubble – Wikipedia
- “Will Higher Education Be the Next Bubble to Burst?” by Joseph Marr Cronin and Howard E. Horton, The Chronicle, May 22, 2009
- “Higher education’s bubble is about to burst,” by Glenn Reynolds, Washington Examiner, June 6, 2010
- “Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education,” interview by Sarah Lacy, TechCrunch, April 10, 2011
- “Is it really the next bubble?” by Lexington, The Economist, April 21, 2011
- Khan Academy – “Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything–for free.”