College degrees for EVERYONE

Jennifer Granholm spoke about it for years. Obama’s been touting it as his big plan for increasing America’s competitiveness. Increasing the rate of folks who go to college.

Like in India.

Muddying the picture is that on the surface, India appears to have met the demand for more educated workers with a quantum leap in graduates. Engineering colleges in India now have seats for 1.5 million students, nearly four times the 390,000 available in 2000, according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies, a trade group.

You simply can’t send folks off to college when they aren’t prepared. Perhaps this sounds familiar?

Another survey, conducted annually by Pratham, a nongovernmental organization that aims to improve education for the poor, looked at grade-school performance at 13,000 schools across India. It found that about half of the country’s fifth graders can’t read at a second-grade level.

Back at home … the higher education bubble.

A New York Times profile last week described Courtney Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University with nearly $100,000 in student loan debt — debt that her degree in Religious and Women’s Studies did not equip her to repay. Payments on the debt are about $700 per month, equivalent to a respectable house payment, and a major bite on her monthly income of $2,300 as a photographer’s assistant earning an hourly wage.

College used to serve the function of teaching you a useful skill. Or it demonstrated to the employer that you were at least responsible enough to attend classes and graduate. Now-a-days? Whether colleges provide either of those functions is questionable. Just about everyone can attend, and given the quality of many graduates it’s questionable that many skills are learned. Most have gained little more than the “college experience” which, as Reynolds writes, translates to four years of partying.

But, the Obama administration continues on with this folly. College education for everyone.

Biden said in a press release he has made affordable higher education a priority during his time as chairman of the Middle Class Task Force and the Obama administration is making a number of financial resources available to help governors boost college completion rates.

One of these new resources is the Comprehensive Grant Program, which will provide a total of $20 million to colleges to implement plans that can increase success and improve productivity in higher education.

The problem NOW is that there is too much money in higher education. It’s big business.

“Right now, we’ve got an education system that works like a funnel when we need it to work like a pipeline,” Biden said in a press release March 22. “We have to make the same commitment to getting folks across the graduation stage that we did to getting them into the registrar’s office.”

Perhaps it’s a funnel, because those folks shouldn’t be going to college in the first place.

They’re wasting their money.

If we get it to operate like a pipeline, we’ll be that much closer to resembling India.

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