This essay is an analysis of two readings regarding the cost of higher education vies versus the value it delivers. There has been a raging debate as to whether higher education is overvalued leading to increased collage fee. To meet these fees, students take collage loans that they are required to start servicing upon completion of college education. The following two articles provide us with an insight on the current issues with college tuition.
We're in a Bubble and its Not the Internet. It's Higher Education.
This article is about an interview carried out by Sara Lacy. She interviews Peter Thiel- the PayPal co-founder, a hedge fund manager and likewise, a venture capitalist. Thiel claims that America is under the spell of a bubble very different from the previous equity and housing bubbles. This new bubble is the higher education bubble. He claims that higher education is overvalued. Just like in the housing industry, collage education is more about securing and insuring the future. Over the years, it has always been believed that collage education was worth investing in even if a student loan has to be taken. However, with the increase in unemployment, university cost soars and students end up graduating and move back to their parents homes.
These students are thus faced with the burden of having to pay back college debts with no source of income. One fact is that these debts cannot be cancelled even in the case of bankruptcy. Thiel further argues that it is wrong for society to rank people based on higher education which is exclusionary in nature. That its value depends on the failure of other students. However, he admits that some of the security offered by collage education is actually true. This is because he got a good collage education and partially attributes his success to that. He suggests that if there are students who are talented and cannot get a good collage education, they should try out other paths such as entrepreneurship.
Thiel states that higher education bubble is about the unnecessarily high value placed on college education. He states that, A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. When students have to pay for loans despite their bankruptcy, it gives them a hard time to start off in life. Thiel states, You have to get rid of the future you wanted to
Pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future. Investing in college education nowadays seems to be a wasteful exercise as there are little returns. Parents see kids moving back home after college and theyre thinking, Something is not working. This was not part of the deal. We got surprisingly little pushback from parents.
Why Didnt Higher Education Protect Black and Hispanic Wealth?
William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth postulate that collage educated families earn significantly higher income compared to those in which the providers never attained higher learning. This phenomenon is applicable to all ethnic and racial groups. The two authors state that collage education helps to protect wealth. It acts as a buffer against major financial and economic hardships. Furthermore, it helps in the mitigation of adverse long term trends. On the contrary, the authors state that higher education by itself cannot create a level playing field.
The graphical evidence given indicates that that college degrees on their own, do not offer short-term protection of wealth, they neither guarantee long-term accumulation of wealth. Furthermore, higher education does not equally protect wealth among different races and ethnic groups. They claim that job market difficulties play a role. These difficulties are complex in nature and in their view, more research needs to be done in order to know the cause. The authors give more graphical analysis of the various factors affected by the attainment of higher education.
With regards to the issue of higher education not protecting wealth equally, the authors state that, Typical white and Asian families with four-year college degrees withstood the recent recession much better and have accumulated much more wealth over the longer term. Hispanic and black families headed by someone with a four-year college degree, on the other hand, typically fared significantly worse than Hispanic and black families without college degrees. The authors also do not fully understand why higher education does not protect wealth equally. They claim, The underlying factors causing racial and ethnic wealth disparities undoubtedly are complex and deeply rooted. Further research is needed.
I partially disagree with Peter Thiel regarding the higher education bubble. I do not believe that collage education is overvalued. This education is very crucial both for the economy and self-improvement. In collage, people learn the most advanced aspects of any given field. They also get to undertake field practical and internships. The knowledge gained is used in all aspects of human life. I also dont agree with his idea that talented students should give up education and become entrepreneurs. I believe they should first finish collage then venture into their passions. Those who made it without collage education are an exception rather than the rule. However I agree with him on the issue of cost. The cost of higher education is unbearable high for most students. The fact that they have to sacrifice their future to pay debts to the schools that were supposed to give them a future, is very sad. Also the fact that unemployment rate keeps rising despite heavy investment in college education makes one question whether it is worthwhile to attain higher learning.
On the other hand, I completely agree with William R. Emmons and Bryan J. Noeth. It is true that higher education increases wealth potential of any given individual. They are also more able to cope with financial difficulties. However, it is not a guarantee that it will make one immune to poverty. The difference between incomes among races is also evident despite equal attainment of higher learning.
Emmons, William R., and Bryan J. Noeth. "Why Didn't Higher Education Protect Hispanic and Black Wealth?." In the Balance 12 (2015): 1-3.
Lacy, Sarah. "Peter Thiel: Were in a Bubble and its Not the Internet. Its Higher Education." Tech Crunch 10 (2011).
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