Student Debt Isn’t the Problem. Colleges Are.
We need to make universities responsible for their students’ outcomes. It is egregious that students, parents, and taxpayers are the ones who suffer when colleges don’t do their jobs while the colleges in question are left untouched. We simply can’t let them get away with it anymore.
So says Reihan Salam, a columnist at Slate.
Dear Reihan, respectfully, what a tool you are! Do you think students are purchasing a degree? What do you think our university is an online degree mill? At real universities you purchase the opportunity to learn, and while we can lead students to opportunities, we cannot learn it for them.
You see this is the funny thing; when students do what you ask of them, they get good grades, they learn, and when they do this enough they get a degree. BUT (notice how big the but is) they don’t always do that. The list of reasons, some delivered with teary eyes, would fill a book.
In Salam’s opinion, the college “simply can’t get away with this anymore”, students paying money, going into debt, and then not getting their degree. This is something colleges "get away with"? You know the students who do accomplish a degree actually don't want us handing them out to just anyone who has paid their money. Does Salam think the university is mugging students, taking their money, and then locking them out of classrooms? Not providing them with opportunities? We have students who think like this, and it’s never their fault. One guy over the course of two semesters gave me the greatest gamut of excuses ever for a single student, and it turns out he was doing this with other faculty, and when we started checking stories he was caught out, and then summarily thrown out, and Salam thinks it’s the university’s fault he didn't get a degree. Now student debt, the result in public institutions of the withdrawal of public support, sometimes over 2-3 decades, sometimes rather abruptly, is a policy decision done with budgets to shift the fiscal responsibility to the student (and their family). And politicians can do this without passing a bill saying that they're going to do this, and this even allows the politicians to dun the university for raising costs too. And how is it that taxpayers are suffering since the portion of their taxes going to public education has been reduced from 62% to 18% of the costs over TPP's 35 years in the business here in Lincolnland. So Reihan, our university isn't getting away with anything, if fact when you factor in the loss of state support, and the unfunded mandates the university gets handed, the real costs have risen less than the cost of living, and our salaries are proof of this. Too bad Reihan doesn't understand how universities work, and he should be responsible for knowing because he chose to write about us. Hope Slate doesn't let him get away with this anymore. It's irresponsible.
Addendum - OK, TPP will cut Salam a bit of slack when it comes to student advisement. Some of it is poor, admittedly, but even good advice is often ignored, and Salam seems to think students arrive at university knowing what they want, what they are interested in, and what they need.