Linkpile for Wednesday, October 19, 2011:
- She's gonna blow! An October 19, 2011 Politico article reports that "Unpaid student loans top $1 trillion." "The $1 trillion of outstanding loans means that Americans now owe more on student loans than on their credit cards. While students have been racking up educational loans, American consumers have been paying down credit cards and home loans."
- Dr. Ron Paul, a favorite Republican presidential candidate among those of a libertarian bent, has in mind a radical cure for the student-aid malaise. "Expert: Paul's plan to eliminate Department of Education could hit student aid," reports an OCtober 19, 2011 Daily Iowan article." "Paul's deficit-reduction plan released this week, would cut $1 trillion from the deficit by eliminating the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, and Education during the first year of his presidency."
- Yet maybe the fortunes of the higher-education depend more on going virtual than on going high-financial. "Winning the Future: Online Education and the Fate of the University." "The wild West is apparently destined to serve as the proving grounds for online higher education. You hope that some reasonable limit will be found. The likelier outcome, however, is that distance learning's siren song of low overhead will be simply too seductive to resist. Those charged with steering postsecondary education into the coming decades of the 21 century will thus lead their ship to founder on the rocks of inefficacy. When it comes to online education, you must always remember that all is not gold that glitters."
- An October 19, 2011 Inside Higher Ed article reports on "The Rapid Rise of Merit Aid." "Many institutions – particularly those that are moderately selective – have embraced merit-based financial aid out of the belief that offering partial scholarships will help them attract paying students away from higher-profile peers. Numerous states, especially in the South, have put in place hefty aid programs based on academic merit to try to keep academically qualified students within the state’s borders for college. But many student aid experts roundly pan the approach for abandoning the historical goal of using financial assistance to draw into higher education those who would have been unlikely to attend otherwise."
- On the student-loans issue, it looks like the "99 percent" are making their grievance known. "Calls for Wiping Out Student Loan Debt Leave Americans Split on New 'Bailout'," reports an October 18, 2011 FoxNews.com story. "[T]he latest petition and the cries from the Occupy Wall Street protests reflect frustration with the growth of debt in recent years. According to The Project on Student Debt, average debt for graduating seniors rose to more than $23,000 in 2008 - a 24 percent increase from 2004. The total student loan debt in America surpassed the total credit card debt last year."
- And it appears that other conflicts are brewing in the postsecondary realm. "Friday News Roundup: A Public–Private Showdown over Online Education." "Distance learning already enjoys a cost advantage over residential learning, but many institutions in the former sector would like to see that advantage increase and are forming strategic partnerships with other interests to accomplish this. 'Western Governors University recently announced ... that it has formed a partnership with TechAmerica to make bachelor's and master's degrees in business and information technology more affordable,' reports an October 13, 2011 U.S. News and World Report article. 'Under this partnership, TechAmerica members will not need to pay the school's $65 application fee and will receive 5% off the tuition price. Additionally, these students will have the chance to to apply for one of 20 scholarships, which are valued at $2,500.'"
- A right-wing take on student loan forgiveness: "Educated Liberals Say Forgiveness of Student Loans Would Stimulate Economy," grouses an October 18, 2011 CNSNews.com article. "A liberal activist group is circulating an online petition calling for forgiveness of student loan debt. That would do more to stimulate the economy than giving tax cuts to billionaires and big corporations, said MoveOn.org."