As another week of for-profit higher education news sets sail for the island of the day before, we pause to consider the general tide of recent events.
One career college believes that it have discovered a way to satisfy one major stipulation of the recent "gainful employment" legislation: job placement. University of Antelope Valley seeks to boost its numbers in this area "by offering to pay companies up to $2,000 for hiring one of its graduates," reports a September 9, 2011 Campus Progress article reports.
Dubbed an "economic stimulus initiative," this pay-for-play scheme the university hopes will not only burnish its job-placement numbers but also help local businesses.
Critical to this scheme is convincing these local businesses that the University of Antelope Valley does offer valuable human resources. The school seeks to assure prospective employers that its graduates have been evaluated and properly trained, and can thus be hustled through the additional screening that is part of the hiring process.
"Pay up" seems to be the dominant theme of late, especially as concerns the plight of today's university students, who find themselves having to borrow increasingly greater amounts of money in order to attend their institutions. "New federal financial aid regulations were passed July 1, which may leave students having to pay for school by themselves after a poor-performing semester," reports a September 8, 2011 Western Kentucky University Herald article. "Before the new regulations were passed, students receiving Pell Grants, PLUS loans and other federal aid had their academic progress measured after one academic year."
The consequences of ballooning debt are already being felt by college graduates in both the United States and Canada. "The average student loan debt for B.C. students who graduate with a four-year degree is $20,984," a September 9, 2011 Vancouver Sun article reports. "And the number of graduates nationwide who owed $25,000 or more on student loans jumped to 27 per cent in 2005, compared to 17 per cent in 1995."
However you crunch the numbers -- and wherever in North America that you crunch them -- the total tells a grim tale, to be sure. Tremendous anxiety plagues students in their efforts to prepare for careers. They worry if their chosen field, whether it is graphic design or medical assisting will fail to generate enough income for them to comfortably service their student loan debt. Yet with no viable solutions tabled it seems they and the rest of us who remain captive to a sputtering economy will have to endure the status quo for some time to come.