Three Crises in Higher Ed Affordability
So much of our higher education system is in crisis. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York just found that 25 percent of student debt holders are delinquent in payments.Thomas Edsall finds that college education is reproducing privilege, with access and success tightly linked to parental income. Student loans were the number one concern of those on the “We Are the 99 Percent” Tumblr. Occupy students at the University California at Berkeley and Davis have been beaten and pepper-sprayed by police for protesting the privatization of their schools.
With so many problems, it’s helpful to reformulate our current crisis as three separate crises. There’s a short-term crisis with young people graduating into the worst labor market since the Great Depression. There’s a medium-term crisis about what we want student debt to look like and how we want it to function in society. And there’s a longer-term crisis about how to deal with college affordability, and what kind of public universities and education we want to have.