there is also a lot of this going on. bunk degrees being pushed by schools, especially for online learning. i remember a few years back that there was some attempt to crack down on the for profit "universities" that did this but it is still a problemHere's some key questions--these also might shed some light on chanson's numbers below:
1. What's the difference in the cost of your education then and what the same education would cost now?
2. What's the average starting salary of a software developer then v now?
I suspect that's where the problem is originating--costs have been increasing faster than students' ability to repay.
We, as a nation, got into the habit of sending our kids to college, and the easy availability of student loans--like the easy availability of credit cards and ARM mortgages--made easy to push aside worries about paying off the debt.
I still think some form of debt relief is a good idea--though total forgiveness may be excessive. But the root problem is the spiraling costs of college itself.
How Liberty University Built a Billion-Dollar Empire Online
With a hard sell to prospective students and huge amounts in taxpayer funding, Jerry Falwell Jr. transformed the evangelical institution into a behemoth. - nyt probably a paywall
The real driver of growth at Liberty, it turns out, is not the students who attend classes in Lynchburg but the far greater number of students who are paying for credentials and classes that are delivered remotely, as many as 95,000 in a given year. By 2015, Liberty had quietly become the second-largest provider of online education in the United States, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, its student population surpassed only by that of University of Phoenix, as it tapped into the same hunger for self-advancement that Trump had with his own pricey Trump University seminars. Yet there was a crucial distinction: Trump’s university was a for-profit venture. (This month, a judge finalized a $25 million settlement for fraud claims against the defunct operation.) Liberty, in contrast, is classified as a nonprofit, which means it faces less regulatory scrutiny even as it enjoys greater access to various federal handouts.
By 2017, Liberty students were receiving more than $772 million in total aid from the U.S. Department of Education — nearly $100 million of it in the form of Pell grants and the rest in federal student loans. Among universities nationwide, it ranked sixth in federal aid. Liberty students also received Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, some $42 million in 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available. Although some of that money went to textbooks and nontuition expenses, a vast majority of Liberty’s total revenue that year, which was just above $1 billion, came from taxpayer-funded sources....
At the front lines are the “admissions representatives,” some 300 phone recruiters working two shifts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., deploying call lists that Liberty gets from websites where people register and search for information about online higher education, like BestCollegesOnline.com. There is such a race to get to customers before University of Phoenix and other rivals that the prospective students sometimes marvel at how little time has elapsed — just a handful of minutes — between their providing their information on a website and the call coming from Liberty. Liberty’s tax filings show that in 2016, the university paid Google $16.8 million for “admissions leads generation.” In other words, advertising Liberty to those searching online for degree options....