The Neoliberal College
Like it or not, finances are an essential part of the college question. As university degrees have become more common, their “marginal utility” has been decreasing. In human terms, that means, “a college degree doesn’t mean what it used to.”
As the burden of education has been shifted away from public governance and onto the shoulders of individuals, families, more than ever, need to take a hard look at this question: is a university degree worth the financial investment? The more you can be strategic about your finances, the more the answer is likely to be, “yes.”
More than anything, it’s important for students to understand that university finances are not magic. They result from a series of policy decisions and cultural factors. One of the most important facets of university economics is that students and their families have shown they’ll pay a near-limitless amount for a university degree.
However, the intelligent student takes a hard look at their options: what else might you do with that money? What alternative forms of education are available? How will skyrocketing debt limit your future available options? Is two years of private higher education worth 10 years of debt payments? Have you educated yourself about which careers do and don’t legally require advanced degrees? Where are you getting your information?
These are far from easy decisions. College admissions is a gurgling cauldron of stress, uncertainty and cultural mythology. What we aim for is that our students, at the very least, are making informed decisions. The college question is a weighty one.