The notion of a college education as a path to material success is starting to require artificial respiration.
The federal financial aid program “egalitarian goals have simply not been met,” economist Richard Vedder pointed out in a recent appearance at the Brookings Institution. Too often, college degrees have not helped stem under- or unemployment among college graduates and more clerks and janitors have college degrees than former servicemen and women, Vedder, who taught for many years at Ohio University, said.
Vedder, who now toils at the American Enterprise Institute, went on to say that “we’re probably overinvested in higher education” and said a college degree “an obscenely expensive screening device.” There are far too many perverse, or negative, incentives for colleges to pass on high costs to parents and students.
Rather, good academic performance, such as good grades and GPA in addition to graduation within four to five years, should be rewarded with higher aid, Vedder argued. Vedder founded the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
Spencer Irvine is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.
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