My initial reaction to finding out I couldn’t apply to Deep Springs was anger. These trustees nullified the application that I had spent hours crafting because of an archaic sentence which pertained to “the education of promising young men.” In the fall, I had been given the chance to apply to my dream school, and just a few months later, these trustees took that away from me suddenly, and in my opinion, unfairly. I was hurt.
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Job prospects for young four-year college grads did dim a bit after 2007, but not terribly. Their overall employment rate dropped just a few percentage points and in response, slightly more young adults returned to school than might otherwise have decided to. There’s no sign that many more bachelor’s holders ended up working dead end jobs just to pay the bills.
Read more. [Image: Pew Charitable Trust’s Economic Mobility Project]
You thought the rising cost of college tuition was bad? Then check out the rising cost of college textbooks. The American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry has put together this chart showing the egregious, 812 percent rise in the cost of course materials since 1978, as captured in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s consumer price index data. The price of all those Intro to Sociology and Calculus books have shot up faster than health-care, home prices, and, of course, inflation.
A system of national universities would (1) fight the rise in tuition, and (2) accommodate all those smart second-generation kids whose parents we should be recruiting to our country in droves. But it will also help the nation in a 3rd way by giving us an outlet for higher research spending. The U.S. has been spending less and less on R&D as a percentage of our GDP, even as R&D becomes more and more important. In part because of this, there are legions of PhDs being forced to take private-sector jobs in which they have no expertise. These trends need to be reversed in order to maintain America’s status as the leading technological nation. And a system of federal universities is the perfect vehicle to increase research spending and provide an outlet for all those PhDs.
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Fraudulent schemes come in all shapes and sizes. To work, they typically wear a patina of respectability. That’s the case with Advanced Placement courses, one of the great frauds currently perpetrated on American high-school students.
That’s a pretty strong claim, right? You bet. But why not be straightforward when discussing a scam the scale and audacity of which would raise Bernie Madoff’s eyebrows?
When are Americans going to wake up and realize that the 60s and 70s-era nostalgia for the “value” of a college degree is just that — nostalgia?
A degree does not guarantee you or your children a good job anymore. In fact, it doesn’t guarantee you a job: last year, 1 out of 2 bachelor’s degree holders under 25 were jobless or unemployed. Since the recession, we’ve lost millions of high- and mid-wage jobs — and replaced a handful of those with lower-wage ones. No wonder some young people are giving up entirely — a 16.8 percent unemployment rate plus soaring student loan debt is more than a little discouraging. Yet old-guard academic leaders are still clinging to the status quo — and loudly insisting that a four-year liberal arts degree is a worthy investment in every young American’s future.
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