Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Round of Excuses

"American doctors' salaries are high for several reasons. The first is the cost of education. In France and Great Britain, students go directly to medical school after high school, and their entire educations are free. In the United States, students must first get a bachelor's degree before attending medical school, and the average medical student's debt is $155,000." --Slate, "Do American doctors get paid too much?"

“It’s actually a very reasonable increase this year, particularly in light of the recently-announced financial aid initiative and the increase in scholarship budget,” Donahue said. “It is certainly reflective of increased costs, not the least of which is the cost of health care.”--Harvard's Director of Financial Aid explaining why they are raising tuition.

The cost of education is growing because the cost of health care is growing, because the cost of education is growing, because the cost of health care is growing....

Tuition Tips

Source (of course)

A recent, well-informed take on why college costs so much, from the Seattle Times:

"In the early 1990s at the UW, students paid for a third of the cost of their education, while the state picked up the rest. These days, students are paying 58 percent of the freight."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama at Hudson Community College

"These are the building blocks of innovation: Education, infrastructure, research."
"Job training as a silver bullet. College as a cure-all. It's not, I don't want to pretend that it is."

I've set this ambitious goal: By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. (Applause.) We used to be number one. We should be number one again. (Applause.)

"A former senator from New York, Robert Kennedy, once told us, "The future is not a gift. It is an achievement." It was not an accident, not a gift, that America led the 20th century. It was the result of hard work and discipline and sacrifice, and ambition that served a common purpose. "

Friday, September 18, 2009


The House voted to eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan Program, saving an estimated $87 billion in subsidies to banks over the next decade.

Some -- not all-- of the money will go to improve higher education access, notably:
  • $40 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 and ensure that it would increase annually by the rise in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent.
  • $10 billion to community colleges in support of President Obama's American Graduation Initiative, designed to produce 5 million more two-year college graduates by 2020.

Once the second most profitable company in the entire Fortune 500, Sallie Mae has now been relegated to junk bond status and potential irrelevance. This should be a day of celebration for student advocates everywhere....

but, it must also be disappointing for those currently burdened by student loans, as the bill does nothing to make those burdens more manageable. Student borrowing jumped by 25% last year, defaults and delinquencies are up, tuition is up. 100% Direct lending is a great first step, but it's only the first step.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Student Loan Borrowing Up 25%

Says Inside Higher Ed.

"Students took out 25 percent more in federal student loans in 2008-9 than they did the year before, according to Education Department data reported by The Wall Street Journal. The federal data showed borrowing rising to $75.1 billion, higher than the 17 percent [increase] most recently projected by the Obama administration. Robert Shireman, deputy under secretary for education, called the rise "definitely above expectations" and attributed it to the poor economy and increases in federal limits on how much students can borrow."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Health Care = A Tricky Generational Issue

President Obama mentioned last night that young healthy people who choose not to buy into the insurance system are being irresponsible, and everyone pays for them when they go into the emergency room for expensive visits.


However, a mandate to buy insurance that doesn't provide for the creation of truly low-cost plans that cover the services young people can realistically expect to use, and that that doesn't subsidize coverage for low-income young people, is just driving a fatted cash cow into the arms of the lucky insurance companies.
1 doctor visit a year + (1 OB-GYN checkup for the ladies)+ 1 dentist visit+ catastrophic coverage if you have a car accident or something. $100 a month. Something reasonable like that.

"On Those "Entitled" Twentysomethings"

An entertaining and justifiable rant.