Commentary: Bloated universities are the genesis of student loan fiasco

As university endowments skyrocket into the billions, why should tuition increase at all?

Students on campus at Harvard University (Unsplash)

President Joe Biden’s irresponsible decision in late August to transfer over a half-billion dollars to wealthier Americans — aka student loan “forgiveness” — is at the center of the American zeitgeist to open September.

Using a program designed to protect military veterans after 9/11 is the epitome of political malpractice.

Should the hard-working U.S. taxpayer be forced to eradicate debts of the more educated? Is the move a churlish gambit to garner Democrat support among economically ignorant millennials and Gen Z voters in the midterm elections? Would a better idea be to simply tax university’s massive slush fund-style endowments? Is the move even legal?

All of the above are good questions, but when not lauding Biden for the malevolent maneuver, some Democrats admit it was wrong.

“There isn’t free money out there. There are consequences,” former Obama economic adviser Jason Furman recently told the left-leaning Atlantic. “Once you frame it as 320 million people paying for a benefit for 30 million people, it makes you think a lot harder. You’re giving a benefit to someone making $200,000 a year. How important is it to give them relief?”

Despite these shortcomings, the biggest and most biased businesses in America jack up tuition every year because government-run loan programs effectively ensure enrollment never relents, even with costs that have risen 180% the last 40 years.

With help from corporate media allies, colleges gouge attendees and have successfully convinced the public one cannot survive in America without a diploma. This isn’t true, and they refuse to show the full picture.

Many college graduates earn less than non-college grads. I see this as a journalist when interviewing blue-collar workers, who often earn more than I, and accrue no debt; most college attendees on the other hand, whether they graduate or not, are in debt for decades.

As university endowments skyrocket into the billions, why should tuition increase at all? The number of administrators, not professors, has soared, with many taking six figure salaries. The highest paid government workers can now be found at your local public university.

Over the past few years, millions of dollars have been tossed to woke DEI programs, which divide students over meaningless attributes, and often harm the local community.

Is it progressive to besmirch people based on skin color or whose religious or political views are not woke enough?

Most universities are bloated bureaucracies with a sole mission of self-perpetuation. Meanwhile, the “consumers” are being deprived of the education they were supposedly promised when coughing up hundreds of thousands. No wonder there’s a growing recognition that the value of a college education has been degraded.

Colleges manipulate people to make money and proliferate degrees, many leading to limited or no career opportunities. Majoring in supply chain management or agriculture mechanization may not seem sexy, but it provides a better future than a “non-gender conforming puppetry” degree.

Parents should finally stop obsessing over what school’s bumper sticker they can affix to their vehicle, and instead of touring the campuses with awe, check how much administrators are earning. They need to understand campus corruption is delaying a successful future for their college graduates.

Four decades ago, university administration comprised only about one-fourth of total educational spending by colleges, while instructional spending comprised two-fifths. Current reports show the categories are now basically even, at over 40%. Federal data also shows that “managerial” employees on campus have grown a whopping 20% during just the last two decades, far outpacing students and faculty.

How does this growth benefit those paying exorbitant tuition? Families and politicians are justifiably irked at the extravagant cost of college, but often for the wrong reasons.

 

A.J. Kaufman
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A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.