Forget zombies and witches – the real scare this Halloween is the direction that our higher education system is headed. Rising tuition, debilitating student-loan debt, and the apparent lack of concern from our institutions is what we should really be afraid of.
1. Drowning In Debt
Student loan debt has hit an all-time high of $1.2 trillion and is now the second largest debt-class in America.
2. And To Make It Worse…
Student loans are used as weapons in politicians’ arsenals as they continue to allow the damaged system to live on.
3. Dumbed-Down Educations
Despite paying thousands of dollars on degrees, students at even the most elite universities don’t know much about American government or history. Case in point: Over half of the U.S. population cannot name the 3 branches of government.
4. Many Of Our Grads Are Still “Adrift”
Recent studies show that, after 4 years in college, only 36% of graduates show “small or empirically non-existent” gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills. Furthermore, only 47% of working, recent grads have jobs that pay $30,000 or more.
5. Well, Not Everyone’s Feeling The Crunch
The only party seemingly un-concerned with skyrocketing tuition costs are the universities themselves. Staff enjoy regular hefty raises while university presidents’ salaries soar into the millions.
6. Something’s Not Adding Up
Sad to say, some professors seem to be struggling to excel at their jobs. Lack of enthusiasm and quality have opened the door to tutors to prove themselves better teachers than actual professors.
7. Free-ish Speech
Cases of universities censoring the free speech of its students have been popping up across the nation. If the purpose of college is to explore new ideas, it doesn’t make much sense that institutions would limit speech and expression simply on the grounds of opposing viewpoints.
Even though there are a lot of frightening things happening in higher ed these days, the good news is that there are viable solutions out there. Online learning provides quality education at a significantly lower cost and is here to stay. Measures that require transparency in student transcripts help combat grade inflation, thereby better preparing students for the workforce, and reforms have been proposed to help improve America’s student-loan debt crisis.