Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- Rooting for for-profits. On March 24, 2011 the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a study entitled "Class Conflict: Gainful Employment Proposal Penalizes At-Risk Populations and Hurts the Economy." "The career colleges sector is now under harsh scrutiny by Washington. The U.S. Department Education has decided that rapid growth in enrollment, rising student debt levels, and a relatively high level of default rates has created a need for new rules around “gainful employment” for graduates from career colleges. The Department’s proposed rules are not only unnecessary, they are certain to cause harm."
- For the flip side of the "gainful employment" debate see the March 27, 2011 Seattle Times opinion piece, "Congress needs to address career colleges' toxic choices." "A key part of the rules requires colleges to consider whether students will actually earn enough to repay their loans. For-profit career colleges enroll about 10 percent of all students but account for 25 percent of federal student aid and 48 percent of all federal student loan defaults. Huge profits are made on federal aid; student success is secondary."
- U.S. News and World Report's College Admissions Insider offers tips designed to take some of the guesswork out of "The College Costs Guessing Game." "The good news for families of college-bound students is there is a lot of institutionally awarded financial aid to be found. You just might not find answers regarding where, and how much, as easy to pin down as you would like."
- Some debt-allergic higher-ed aspirants wonder if federal or private student aid negates the advantages of going to college: "Interest in the Future: Questioning the Wisdom of Student Loans." "Finding themselves behind the vocational eight ball, many young people have begun to seriously reconsider the wisdom of borrowing money to cover college costs. After all, a compound interest rate indicates how long it takes the principal amount to double. These young people realize that by the time they have retired their loan, they will have paid double -- or in many cases nearly triple -- what they borrowed."
- But if borrow you must, a March 27, 2011 Metro.us piece entitled "Tackle that student debt" apprises you as to your liabilities and obligations. "Student loans don’t get discharged if you declare bankruptcy; you’ll still owe the money. Possible consequences of not paying your loans include:
- Your wages can be garnished or your tax refund withheld.
- If your loan is turned over to a collection agency, you’ll be liable for not only the balance and interest, but court costs and collection fees.
- Your credit score will go down, making it difficult to get a mortgage."
- For more on the realities of borrowing for college see: "Bet Your Bottom Dollar: For-Profit Colleges, Debt Defaults, and Adequate Employment." "For-profits claim in their own defense that they provide access to higher education to traditionally overlooked or underserved populations. This claim has merit, but competition in a free higher-education market, one untrammeled by federal regulations, ought to result in low tuition rates and high quality of instruction, not low graduation rates and high rates of student loan defaults."