Can American Higher Education Be Restored?

People who analyze and write about higher education generally fall into two camps. One camp consists of those who believe that our system is “the envy of the world” and just needs more public support to do its great work of improving our citizens and strengthening our economy. (For a sense of what that camp … Continue reading “Can American Higher Education Be Restored?”


Student Loan Defaults Reveal the True Cost of Student Loans

With the rising number of student loan defaults, the federal government has reaped what it has sown. A government policy to give virtually any student a loan has pushed tens of thousands of them into a financial hole from which they will struggle to escape for years. A new report from The Institute for College … Continue reading “Student Loan Defaults Reveal the True Cost of Student Loans”


DC Wants to Further Subsidize Higher Education: Here’s Why That’s a Bad Idea

Congressional Democrats are reintroducing the Debt-Free College Act in an attempt to lower costs and increase federal intervention in higher education. This debt-free proposal would require the federal government to match every dollar from states’ higher education appropriations to help students pay “all the costs” of college, Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan told reporters. But while … Continue reading “DC Wants to Further Subsidize Higher Education: Here’s Why That’s a Bad Idea”


Universities Should Invest in Their Students, Not Securities

Nearly all American institutions of higher education raise money they put into endowments—money that is kept invested in securities. At the same time, many of their students borrow money from the federal government so they can afford to attend. As I will explain, this system is fraught with problems. It would be far better if … Continue reading “Universities Should Invest in Their Students, Not Securities”


What Is the Actual Value of a Master’s Degree?

In the past 20 years, the number of students earning a master’s degree has more than doubled. Over 42 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients now go on to earn their master’s. This degree proliferation raises a serious question: Are master’s degrees on track to become the new bachelor’s? If so, the extra years of schooling … Continue reading “What Is the Actual Value of a Master’s Degree?”


How Women Can Avoid the Student Loan Gender Gap

Every year, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) releases a new report illustrating how women are disproportionately impacted by student loan debt. The average woman graduates with $2,739 more in federal loans than the average male graduate, they argue. But while suggestions to fix this gender debt gap have typically targeted lawmakers, students are … Continue reading “How Women Can Avoid the Student Loan Gender Gap”


The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos

No one can accuse Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of inaction. Just within the past few weeks, her Department of Education announced the overhaul of two major Obama-era regulations. The next stage of DeVos’ agenda will review several of the rules governing which higher education institutions and programs are eligible for federal funding, with an eye … Continue reading “The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos”


PLUS Loans: Subtraction by Addition?

Student loan debt remains a burden for millions of college graduates and dropouts, but the federal government has not yet hit the brakes on its loan engine. Now, it’s becoming a greater problem for parents. A recent analysis by Mark Kantrowitz, a higher education expert who publishes Saving for College and Private Student Loans, noted … Continue reading “PLUS Loans: Subtraction by Addition?”


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”


A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law, inserting the federal government irrevocably into the inner workings of America’s colleges and universities. The bill increased federal money given to universities, provided scholarships, and created the federal student loan system—now a $100 billion yearly enterprise. Since then, the Act has been reauthorized … Continue reading “A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill”