The value of an education: Spiraling college costs and student debt spark doubts over payoffs

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  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    June 12, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    I'm a bit of a liberal but even I think that the government needs to get their hands out of higher education. Let the free market run it, banks wouldn't give $150,000+ loans to student who couldn't prove they have a game plan. As it is now the government will give a student loan to anyone with a heartbeat, regardless of past academic performance, viability of career choice, or future earning potential. Thus we end up with students who go into massive debt for a graphic design degree.

    While I did the whole school thing I never felt like it was worth the money. My Junior year I finally realized I didn't need to be paying someone to "teach" me. I could do it myself quicker, cheaper and easier. I went ahead and finished anyway because I was so close, but if I went back in time I wouldn't bother. I have never had an employer or potential employer ask me about my education. In my career all they care about is seeing your portfolio. We need to reevaluate if everyone should be attending traditional higher education.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    If one of the main support groups for barack huessein obama were college and university students, then it is obvious that the education system has failed to educate these people or at least teach them how to use their brain in making a good decession.

    If student loan debt is one of the main reasons preventing students from getting married or moving out of their parents home, that shows either they are not able to get "high" paying jobs or their education has little to no value use in the "real world".

    Remember our tax dollars fund many of these universities. Private donations make up a big part of operating the school. The students just an inconvenience to many of the professors who are more interested in their own research, publishing papers, moving up the pay scale, obtaining a status so they can't be fired. The school is not interested in making you smarter, they are interested in your money. Having you repeat classes, and raising the cost 10% or so every semester and then rip you off at the bookstore. Since the professor and editor both make mooney off of you buying the "required" text.

  • johnbh99 Daytona Beach Shores, FL
    May 21, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    I take note of degander2's comment about the institutions spending like the federal government. When I walk through any campus today I am awed by the size and scope of the facilities that are build for the comfort and convenience of the students ... and of course the faculty and staff. Instead of using technology to cut costs as any manufacturing concern would be compelled to do in order to stay in business, Universities simply go on busting the budget every year. Toto needs to pull the curtain down that is hiding the Wizard of Education.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    I got most of my education that converts into a higher paycheck while getting a paid for it. I am a software engineer. One difference between my profession and many others is that when you know something, you can easily prove it to a prospective employer, and if he is too dense and demands that you have a masters degree, you can partner with somebody that knows something about business and compete against the dense guy. The market reality values actual skills as opposed to degrees or certifications. I think what we need is more free market thinking - let the best prove that they are the best, and do not insist that they get there by jumping through a particular set of hoops. They can pay somebody to teach them, they can learn it on their own, or an angel from heaven can reveal it to them - we must only care that they are capable of doing the job, and there should be a reasonable way for them to prove capability. This will put an end to the overpriced "educational" system with degrees to nowhere.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Close half the universities in nation, shut down 90 percent of law schools (we have enough attorneys), and lets all be farmers and tent dwellers. Peter was a fisherman, Paul made tents. And lets bulldoze half the houses in our country because with fewer children being born and smaller families, there is no way these houses will be occupied. We will never have the number of children that the baby boomer generation had: unless we open the borders and allow immigration to flow freely. Immigration may solve the housing crisis.

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    May 21, 2012 1:20 a.m.

    Great article. It would be interesting to understand the impact of government subsidized loans and grants on the cost of education. I wonder if by making it too easy to get loans and/or grants people are attending college who otherwise might not have the drive to work their way through it.

  • dgander2 Richfield, UT
    May 20, 2012 9:48 p.m.

    The main problem is with the ridiculous rise in the cost of tuition. I'm finishing a clinical doctorate and am loaded with student debt. It could be much less if the university I attended didn't spend like the federal government!!! Someday students will get fed up with it and demand lower tuition. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get more education with the goal in mind of getting paid more. In addition, sometimes you can't work while in school because your graduate education is too demanding.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2012 7:09 p.m.

    we have not expanded since Obama was elected......he sends so many mixed signals that we we dont know what to expect and it has created a hiring freeze!! OWS is not going to change anything.....Obama budget didn't get one vote in the Senate/House!

  • Teaching Moment Ogden, UT
    May 20, 2012 3:28 p.m.

    Debt = Bondage

    Just say no to debt!

    It is OK to "work" while you get an education.

    One day you can be your own bank.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 20, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    The "payoff" of higher education is in being an educated person.

    What kind of uneducated presumption is it to think the ultimate and only purpose and value of higher education is in getting you a fatter paycheck?