The government is providing fuel for an academics arms race that is going on all over the country by allowing kids to borrow huge amounts of money at very, very low interest rates, and many of these students are really not knowledgeable about finance and so forth. They go out; they borrow a lot of money. The colleges raise their fees more than they otherwise would. This provides extra income for the colleges, which goes for a ton of different things — luxury facilities, more administrators, higher pay for people, and the like — and makes college less affordable.
Instead of expansive loan programs, how should the government help deserving students?
Help low-income students by giving vouchers or scholarships. That would be fine. But empower individuals and provide information to individuals to make decisions….
In trying to control higher education, the government has stunted genuine progress and contributed to the lowering of standards.
I’m not against investment, but we are overcommitted in higher education. And as a consequence we’re getting students who are not prepared for college. We’re getting high dropout rates. We’re getting low learning levels. We get students only working 30 hours a week, going to class or studying. We get grade inflation. I could go on and on with all sorts of the manifestations of this that have happened as a consequence of this, none of which have been particularly good for American society.