Wednesday, June 02, 2010

CCAP in the News: 06/02/10

Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education both covered CCAP's latest research on Tuesday. The Salt Lake Tribune picked up on the story as it relates to the Mountain West conference:
The MWC, home to the University of Utah and Brigham Young University sports programs, and the Western Athletic Conference, the stage for the Utah State Aggies, don't have access to lucrative revenue streams enjoyed by big-name conferences like the Big Ten, said report co-author Richard Vedder, CCAP's executive director. So these "wannabe" conference schools are forced to tap institutional resources, taxpayers and students in the mostly vain hope of competing with the nation's best football and basketball programs.

"It's coming at an awfully high cost," said Vedder, an Ohio University economics professor and American Enterprise Institute scholar. "I don't see it getting better. At some point it becomes a significant financial strain on the institutions. It's getting to be a luxury that we increasingly find we cannot afford."

"To the extent these subsidies increase tuition and fees, it's a burden. It's like a tax on a goods," Vedder said. "These are subsidies that have to be paid be someone. It forces tuition to go higher, or forces the quality of education to go lower."
Richard Vedder was one of the guests for a marketplace radio segment on the costs of college. Listen to the show.
In our zeal to get everyone a college education, we're finding more and more people going out with a bachelor's degree that are having a hard time getting a job that fits the skills that they believe they picked up in college. And maybe the notion that everyone should go to college is one that we need to rethink in light of this labor market experience.
Zac Bissonnette of Daily Finance agrees with Daniel Bennett's remedy for rising student default rates:
It's a good idea.

Many colleges -- especially for-profit colleges but also more than a few non-profit colleges -- are signing naive students up for levels of loan debt that are destined for failure. Borrowing $100,000 with an interest rate of 10% to pay for an undergraduate degree can almost never lead to a good financial outcome, and yet colleges enroll students with these debt loads all the time. In cases where financial aid offices sign students up for outrageous levels of student loan debt, the schools should at the very least share in the financial fallout.
The New Yorker cited Richard Vedder:
Economics majors aren’t doing badly, either: their starting salary averages about fifty thousand a year, rising to a mid-career median of a hundred and one thousand. Special note should be taken of the fact that if you have an economics degree you can, eventually, make a living proposing that other people shouldn’t bother going to college. This, at least, is the approach of Professor Richard K. Vedder, of Ohio University, who is the founder of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. According to the Times, eight out of the ten job categories that will add the most employees during the next decade—including home-health aide, customer-service representative, and store clerk—can be performed by someone without a college degree. “Professor Vedder likes to ask why fifteen percent of mail carriers have bachelor’s degrees,” the paper reported.

The argument put forth by Professor Vedder (Ph.D., University of Illinois) is, naturally, economic: of those overly schooled mail carriers, he said, “Some of them could have bought a house for what they spent on their education.”

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