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The Higher Education Bubble (Encounter Broadside) Paperback – June 26, 2012
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For example, more and more newspaper reporters have learned their work was subsidized by classifieds and now can't survive Craigslist et al, computer programmers in the U.S. have been replaced by others in India, and both the proportion of adults graduating from college and non-elite schools are rising.
Already we have about $1 trillion in outstanding student loans, many in default (payments are being made on just 38% of the balances, down from 46% five years ago), and they can't be discharged through bankruptcy. Roughly 11% attended for-profit colleges and they receive about 25% of federal student loans and grants. Meanwhile, learning has presumably decreased - students are studying 50% less than a couple of decades ago.
Author Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee. He contends that college education is merely a way to meet spouses of similar status and a marker (self-discipline, ability to defer gratification), not an ingredient needed to enter the middle class. Reynolds points out as illustration that professional basketball players have expensive sneakers, but it's not the shoes that make them good.
Once a student graduates from college he/she may be unable to find a job enabling paying off student loans.Read more ›
Mr. Reynolds' work in this area, which I have accessed most often as a daily visitor to his excellent "Instapundit" website, has defined and elevated this issue so that it is now entering the mainstream.
Every teacher and administrator, at every level of education, should read this book. Every parent of a school age child, and every high school or college student, should also read it. Something that can't go on won't. Change is coming. If you want to understand the problems of contemporary higher education and be part of the national discussion and solution, you've got to read this clear and concise work.
Meanwhile, Professor Reynolds offers some cogent advice. First and foremost, do not incur significant student loan debt. And to the universities? Offer coursework of rigor and substance; cut the fluff. Offer value for dollar.
While there will be significant readjustment, as runaway tuition, fees and loan costs approach the stone wall, that readjustment can take many forms. The further cheapening of the product is always likely. Indeed, it has been underway for decades.
If there is one element of the readjustment that Professor Reynolds overlooks, it is the chameleon-like nature of institutions to change their appearance and, indeed, their very nature. The pleasant little liberal arts college on the edge of town is suddenly surviving on the basis of weekend/evening cash-cow master's degree programs or setting up offices in strip malls in a neighboring city. This process has also been underway for decades.
Reynolds writes with passion; his rhetoric is lucid and lively; he is aware of key works in the contemporary higher ed literature (and quotes them, but does not provide footnoted references).
This broadside will stimulate discussion and open eyes not yet familiar with the subject.
As the fater of four sons with the eldest going into his last year of high school, we are right in the midst of the college admissions dance. Knowing that I am going to be paying today's prices for at least the eldest makes me feel like a home buyer in 2006 - I know it is the top of the market but how much could I be overpaying?
I highly recommend this work for both prospective consumers of higher education but for everyone since this bubble's slow deflation will have broad and far reaching impacts on our society.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I only bought the book after watching its video online. Short read that makes you worry about the future of Higher EducationPublished 22 days ago by No Just No
Great book, parents of high school students should be reading this.Published 12 months ago by tracy dewhirst
This is not really a book - more so a small pamphlet. This was not clearly labeled, though it does state it is a broadside. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jordan Hughes
What I read just confirmed what I have been saying for years. The hands on experience is worth so much more then we publicly share. Read morePublished 15 months ago by teri
Anything that can't go on forever....won't. This lays out the facts of the case. Glenn Reynolds is a master at the simple presentation.Published 21 months ago by Robert Langham
Great short book that helps the reader understand why the price of higher education has spiked so much over the last 20 years.Published 21 months ago by Charles H. Rosa
It's clear the higher ed market is not a real market. Why? Because it has been influenced by easy money (read gov't) money. And like all bubbles this one too will pop. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Textian