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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An educated risk: Higher ed requires higher debt

Observation:  Last weekend, the New York Times published an in-depth story about the rising costs—and tremendous loans—many students are having to consider when pursuing a college degree.  Click here to see it.

Implications:   Deep in the story, these writers compare the current student loan crisis to the mortgage bubble… not because it holds the same potential to harm our greater economy, but because of the “education at any price” mentality that has prevailed in recent years, and because many students fail to realize the long-term consequences of tuition debt.

As I finished this story, I was left with several questions.  Is the U.S. at risk of a downgrade, in terms of its leadership position in education?  What kinds of jobs (indeed, what kind of an economy) await the less educated working population?  Will the academic world correct itself, creating more schools that focus on a specialty and fewer that offer deep programs in all subject categories?

This is a category that seems to be poised for a shake-up.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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