Friday, October 16, 2009

Links for 10/16/09

Mike Konczal
we are currently asking children, 17, 18 or 19 years old, to try and assess how much of a student loan debt burden they can handle vis-a-vis their future income over their entire lives.
Jeffrey J. Williams on student debt as indentured servitude
College student-loan debt has revived the spirit of indenture for a sizable proportion of contemporary Americans… it is a major constraint that looms over the lives of those so contracted, binding individuals for a significant part of their future work lives...

Although it seems as if it crept up on us, student-loan indebtedness is not an accident but a policy. It is a bad policy, corrupting the goals of higher education.
Don Heller
The biggest problem is that not enough grant aid is given to financially-needy students, as more and more financial aid is being funneled to wealthier students who do not need the money to attend college. But it is politically very popular to give money to these wealthier families, so many states do this and many institutions follow suit because it helps them achieve their enrollment management goals of improving their standing in rankings such as those published by U.S. News & World Report. We also need to do much more to simplify the financial aid system…

don’t assume that more expensive is better. Just because one university charges more than another doesn’t make the former a better option for postsecondary education.
Brad DeLong
being a tenured professor at a research university is still an amazing deal. It’s the closest thing in our age to being landed gentry.
Xenia Markowitt
To some degree, we have institutionalized social protest…

the nature of campus activism had changed. After all, sit-ins, or building takeovers, were staged in order to get the attention of the administration. But getting the attention of the administration can be done on my campus with a phone call—even directly to the president himself...

I told her: "If you hold a sit-in, the deans are going to order pizza and sit down next to you and ask what your concerns are. Will you be ready to answer them? You can make an appointment anytime you want to see the president and voice your concerns directly to him. So what is the purpose behind your sit-in? What do you hope to achieve?"

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