For many years, I have barked that college students are nothing more than consumers buying a product (called a degree) from a multimillion-dollar corporation (called a university).
Paying for a degree is a commercial transaction, and nothing more. Our society places a value on a piece of paper, called a diploma, which students receive after, and only after, paying for it. Those that do not matriculate, estimated at 50% of the student body, forfeit all of the tuition and other monies paid. The diploma comes without any guarantees as to its value.
Higher education costs have been soaring for decades, rising well above any normal inflationary increases. Now, even attending a State University costs tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, many colleges don’t instruct on majors our technology driven society requires. Although numbers vary, there are approximately 6,000 non-profit and for-profit colleges and universities in the US.
But the scam is coming to an end. Many companies such as Google, IBM, Tesla, etc. and even State governments are scrapping degree requirements and hire non-degree holders evaluated on their skill set and aptitudes. University ‘consumers’ are now questioning whether forking over tens or, in many cases, hundreds of thousands to a corporation for a degree that has diminishing social valuable is wise.
Over 50% of college majors have no market value. Possessing degrees in theater, literature, arts, cinema, drama, dance, music etc. will not move you up the wealth latter. The arts are important, but you don’t need a degree to be a musician or actor. Moreover, graduates with these majors have almost no way of paying back what they borrowed to obtain their degrees for many, many years and the Universities know this and don’t care!
Now, most of the big-named Universities will continue to attract students no matter the cost. It will be the smaller, liberal arts colleges that will began to close down for lack of enrollment. These institutions will have to cut bloated costs amassed after years of unfettered tuition increases. The party is over! Even the initiatives by the Biden Administration to forgive a portion of student loans will not save the middle-tier colleges from closing. Those that have small enrollment and lack nontuition funding streams will close over the next 5-10 years. This will force others to streamline operations, change curriculum, and cut administrative costs, but even these moves may not forestall a closing.
[The Biden Administration’s efforts to forgive up to $10,000 for each student loan should not pass judicial scrutiny. Students that borrowed monies from the federal government signed a contract to repay the loan. If the courts agree that the contract can be broken and forfeited by Presidental decree the result would be the undermining of the entire premise of contract law – which is the foundation and lifeblood of our economic system.]
Savvy students and their parents are selecting STEM majors: science, technology, engineering, and math. These are the disciplines modern societies value. But even opting for these majors, students are being hit with huge costs from a higher education blackhole. Students have become conduits for transferring money from the federal government to an unregulated nonprofit entity. So, beware, students and parents, the University you’re attending is not the benevolent, open-idea institution you perceive, but a cold and calculating corporation bent on self-preservation.