I knew that post-secondary education in the United States was much more expensive than it is here in Canada, but I did not know how deep the student debt problem runs causing people to now question whether all the outlay of money is worth it. The basic question is if Americans are getting their money’s worth when it comes to post-secondary education.
The United States has a greater percentage of its population attending post-secondary institutions than any other country or at any other time. At first glance this seems like a good thing as an educated population is desirable. But if you look more closely it seems to have caused lots of problems.
According to the statistics used in this documentary by Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) the cost of post-secondary education in the U.S. has risen by 1000% since the 1970s. The financial aid system that was set up after World War II was not meant to take on such a large number of students needing its help. This plus the fact that Ronald Reagan while he was President decided to cut funding to post-secondary institutions making the burden of the cost fall on the students’ shoulders.
It has been pounded into students’ heads that to get good jobs they have to have a degree so they take on huge debt in order to go to university and then spend their lives trying to get out from under it. Andrew Rossi has presented us with the problems that post-secondary studies is fraught with now in the U.S., but has not offered any concrete reasons for it or solutions.
Though there was some stuff here that was interesting and informative there was precious little of it. Not sure who is to blame so Rossi goes after the usual suspects like Reagan (who is dead and cannot defend himself), the consumerism of the Western world and school administrators. I think that the problem is somewhat more complex than that. There is even a weak attempt to throw some blame at the developers like EdX of online courses because they are not were successful right off the hop as they had claimed they could be. The biggest problem with Ivory Tower is that it is not focused in the least with no real progression or even a beginning, middle or end.
-Q+A’s on Opening Weekend