The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University

The modern American university has changed almost beyond recognition from the form it had even 100 years ago. It is larger, more “diverse,” more of a business, and more industrialized with relatively fewer teachers and more bureaucrats than ever before. Those changes have led to new problems. Higher education, if not broken, is at least … Continue reading “The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University”


‘Baby Bonds’ Would Skyrocket College Costs, Bilk Taxpayers for Billions

For too many politicians and presidential hopefuls, a free college education is a cure-all for inequality in America—so long as the federal government can pour enough money into it. Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), for instance, has opted to make “baby bonds” the centerpiece of his campaign. Under this policy, fleshed out in … Continue reading “‘Baby Bonds’ Would Skyrocket College Costs, Bilk Taxpayers for Billions”


A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments

A specter is haunting higher education—the specter of declining enrollments. University and college enrollment has fallen nearly 9 percent since 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, and no one is exactly sure why. The decrease is not that obvious yet because the decline follows many decades of tremendous growth in enrollment. On a website … Continue reading “A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments”


The Furor Over Student Loan Forgiveness

Once again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has kicked the hornet’s nest, this time by changing the rules for deciding if a student will be relieved of his or her obligation to repay federal college loans. The way our higher education finance system works, the federal government makes it easy for students to borrow money for … Continue reading “The Furor Over Student Loan Forgiveness”


The One Instance Where the Feds Should Spend More on Higher Education

The federal government has no constitutional authority to spend money on higher education, to give or lend students money for it, to direct how colleges will function, or anything else. By far the best course of action would be for Congress to dismantle the Department of Education and repeal all U.S. statutes pertaining to education. … Continue reading “The One Instance Where the Feds Should Spend More on Higher Education”


If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It

The United States got along nicely for its first 176 years without any federal legislation on higher education. (A good reason why there was no such legislation is the absence of any authority for it in the Constitution, but that’s not a point I want to go into here.) In 1965, however, Congress passed and … Continue reading “If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It”


Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements”

One of the worst features of America in the 1940s and 50s was the persistent demand for national loyalty oaths. In those days, people were expected to declare their support for the U.S. and if they didn’t, they could be blackballed, expelled, or otherwise punished. The ideological fervor for conformity abated for decades, but has … Continue reading “Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements””