Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.



It was inevitable. With Congress preparing to shower the country in “stimulus” money, the higher-ed establishment makes its plea for a sizable cut. Read about it here.

The pitch is swaddled in national-interest blankets, of course: “For the first time in our history, the cohort of Americans ages 25 to 34 is less well educated than the older cohorts that preceded it. We cannot accept such dangerous sugns that our future prosperity and security will be weaker than in the past.”

What self-serving nonsense. Pushing more and more young people, many of whom are highly resistant to formal education thanks to their years in public schools, through to college degrees merely keeps the higher-ed empire fat and happy. If fewer young Americans are obtaining college degrees than in the past, that indicates spreading awareness that for many, getting a degree has little or no payoff.

Congress should forget the whole absurd “stimulus” idea, of course, but let’s not hope for a miraculous outbreak of reason in Washington. It certainly should not include the higher-ed world in its spending plans. Doing that would subsidize inefficiency at a time when financial belt-tightening might have the beneficial impact of forcing some schools to concentrate on educational quality — as in the case of Lindenwood University, which I wrote about here.


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