The Private Student Lending Industry’s Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Mark Twain’s famous quip about the rumors of his demise applies to the private higher education lending industry. Many people think that because Congress did away with the nominally private Federal Family Education Loan Program in 2010 and the Education Department’s Federal Direct Loan Program has been mushrooming, the private lending business must be dead, … Continue reading “The Private Student Lending Industry’s Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated”


UNC-Chapel Hill’s Economics Program Lacks Historical Perspective

A few weeks ago I went camping with some fellow members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter. Whenever we get together, there is sure to be an impassioned discussion—not just about the Carolina Panthers or the best brands of bourbon, but also American foreign policy and free … Continue reading “UNC-Chapel Hill’s Economics Program Lacks Historical Perspective”


A Meaningful Math Requirement: College Algebra or Something Else?

Most colleges and universities have a math requirement. Students must successfully complete a certain number of math courses (usually just one) to graduate. At many institutions, the requirement is met by passing college algebra (CA). This course studies properties of functions and their graphs with an emphasis on the algebraic and graphical techniques that are … Continue reading “A Meaningful Math Requirement: College Algebra or Something Else?”


Should Employers Be Prohibited from Asking Applicants About College Credentials?

Court decisions can have unintended consequences just as statutes or regulations can. The Supreme Court’s 1971 decision in Griggs v. Duke Power has had a huge impact on higher education, giving the “college for everyone” movement a great but unanticipated boost. The problem is that the lack of a college degree now operates against people … Continue reading “Should Employers Be Prohibited from Asking Applicants About College Credentials?”


Enriching the NCAA Through State Law

Last month, former NC State football player Eric Leak made headlines for giving an unnamed UNC athlete “improper benefits,” in violation of the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA). An article in the Raleigh News & Observer explained that Leak was also accused of defrauding former clients and possibly the Medicaid system. Both are … Continue reading “Enriching the NCAA Through State Law”


A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) advises trustees and alumni about higher education issues, identifies “oases of [educational] excellence,” and examines graduation requirements at various colleges to answer the question “What Will They Learn?” In that report, ACTA scrutinizes each college’s curriculum, looking for seven requirements: composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. history, economics, … Continue reading “A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade”


What’s Wrong with Business Schools?

Ever since the 2008 financial crash, American business schools have been reeling from criticism. There is a widespread feeling that the financial meltdown was caused by graduates of elite business schools who created fortunes through hedge funds, derivatives, and other financial tricks. While that view is more fiction than fact, it has spawned conferences, books, … Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Business Schools?”


College Dropouts Cost North Carolina Taxpayers $446M Per Year

Students who leave college with no degree but an accumulation of debt face obvious hardship, but what about taxpayer money wasted on students with no degrees? The results for North Carolina are staggering. Of the 155,982 students who enrolled in one of its 16 public universities last year, 52,184 will not graduate. To Dr. Harry … Continue reading “College Dropouts Cost North Carolina Taxpayers $446M Per Year”


Welcome to Freshman Orientation, Now Meet Your Career Counselor!

Every semester during my thirteen years of teaching at a liberal arts college, several senior year students would approach me and ask if I “knew of any jobs out there.” The issue went deeper than the angst of seniors about their employment prospects, however. I found that the school often failed to thoroughly inform students … Continue reading “Welcome to Freshman Orientation, Now Meet Your Career Counselor!”


Does “Merit Aid” Make Sense?

Businesses sometimes charge different customers different prices as a way to maximize revenue. Airlines, for example, usually charge more for seats reserved on short notice, on the theory that the traveler probably doesn’t have good alternatives and will therefore pay a high price. (Economists call it price discrimination.) Similarly, colleges and universities sometimes also charge … Continue reading “Does “Merit Aid” Make Sense?”