How to Fix the Education Debt Pipeline

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According to a 2022 “Average Cost of College & Tuition” report by Education Data Initiative, the average annual cost for a student attending a four-year college is $35,331 (including books, supplies and living expenses). Even a typical student attending a four-year public university in the state pays over $25,000 a year. Even though community colleges cost less, they Cost students an average total of $7,460 or $1,865 per semester.

Over the past 20 years, the average cost of a college education has more than doubled. On top of everything they spent in undergrad, students can expect to spend an average of over $200,000 on faculty of Law Where medicine Schoolmore than $100,000 for a doctorateor more than $60,000 for a master’s degree.

Student debt is an unsustainable problem

The student loan problem is not a left-right issue. The left might have the wrong answers on how to deal with it. Their answer is debt “forgiveness” and “free” college for everyone, which, if that means anything, means slapping taxpayers with an incredibly exorbitant bill of around $2 trillion. These are taxpayers who are already being ripped off to subsidize state colleges and universities to indoctrinate the next generation with the idea that men can have babies. But at least those on the left don’t deny that an overall national student loan debt estimated at $1,930,446,972,357 (as of February 15, 2022) is a problem – a problem that is, by the way, accumulating interest at about $3,000 per second.

According to financial expert Dave Ramsey, in 2019 American families borrowed more than $106 billion for college. After 12 years, the average college borrower has only paid off about a third of their student loan. The average borrower takes over 20 years to repay his student loan. In other words, taking out a student loan for college is pretty much like taking out a loan for a house. In fact, the median price of a home in 2021 was $374,900, $50,000 more than the previous year, but still $25,000 less than the estimate ultimate cost from a bachelor’s degree, once you factor in student loan interest and four years of lost income.

What to do about it

There are four courses of action that could be – and should be – done now, if we were really serious about education.

First, as preparation: breaking the current K-12 public education system that offers little in the way of real education and simply puts students on a conveyor belt to our clown universities. Embrace absolute school choice, with no preschool requirements, and insist that parents are the primary educators of their children (which is simply an overlooked truth).

And if you’re a parent, unless you have a great private school, homeschool your kids. You’ll do a better job – you care more about their welfare than anyone else – and you’ll have more freedom. The current parents’ revolution against radical school boards is a sign that parents understand that the trust they placed in our public schools and the people who run them was extremely misplaced, and that teachers’ unions are in fact a threat to the best of their children. interests.

Second, at the state level, state legislators should reduce public funding for state colleges and universities. State funding should be based on how these schools serve the public interest by requiring courses in the great books of Western civilization, American history, and civics; the acquisition of employable skills; and the rate at which graduates obtain well-paying jobs in the private sector. The state monitors these colleges and universities and should use it to ensure that taxpayers’ money is well spent. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had the foresight to want to strictly limit mandate for professors at Texas state colleges and universities and ban the teaching of critical race theory as harmful indoctrination that taxpayers should not have to fund.

Third, at the federal level, massive taxpayer subsidies and federal research grant funding must be more diligently overseen by Congress. Every year we are amused or horrified by stories of wasteful spending by the federal government on ridiculous “research” at colleges and universities across the country. It’s not just waste, it’s corruption, because it puts even supposedly disinterested disciplines – like science – at the mercy of self-serving bureaucrats like Dr. Anthony Fauci, or climate change bureaucrats, or from the rest of Washington comfortably installed and largely irresponsible. bureaucracy. It distorts and politicizes science. Members of Congress must make oversight of this spending a priority.

Fourth, in private schools, former students must exercise their authority. Money talks, and so does alumni board membership. groups like the American Board of Trustees and Alumni fight to restore academic standards and accountability to American colleges and universities. Encourage them. Join them.

Yet despite all these efforts, even ostensibly conservative politicians have, at least in the past, made real education reform a secondary priority. The successful election of Governor Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, who ran on a platform of education reform and parent empowerment, may be a sign that things are changing. We can hope. But it still seems that few politicians even understand the problem. Too often Democrats and Republicans agree that education is simply an unparalleled good – the more the better, regardless of its content or cost. Their inaction is why we now need a revolution in public education and a counter-revolution in higher education.

There is much more to life than school. And college is anything but a requirement of life. For most students, college is not only morally and intellectually degrading, it’s a bad investment. You can go to trade school, apprentice with a craftsman, become an entrepreneur, or engage in a hundred other things like working as an actor, delivery driver, florist, personal trainer, salesman, chef, or a real estate agent. With a job and no college debt, you can get on with your life. Young, skilled workers can be truly free, financially and intellectually, unlike indebted and indoctrinated former students.

This is an adapted excerpt from “Don’t Go to University: An Argument for Revolutionby Timothy Gordon and Dr. Michael Robillard.


Michael J. Robillard, MA, MA, Ph.D., author of the brand new book Don’t Go to College, independent scholar, philosopher, and Iraq War veteran, has held academic appointments at Notre Dame, Oxford, and at the United States Naval Academy. Timothy J. Gordon, MA, Ph.L., JD, holds degrees in literature, history, philosophy, and law. Gordon has authored numerous books, including the brand new title Don’t Go to College, and hosts the Rules for Retrogrades podcast.

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