Dear Commons Community,
Frank Bruni raises lots of questions in his New York Times column today entitled, The Imperiled Promise of College. With Congress debating federal student loans and interest rates, Bruni discusses the worth of a college degree, the job potential of certain majors, global competition and escalating tuition.
Perhaps his most important comments relate to the need to maintain affordability of and quality of all of our colleges.
“That you can’t gain a competitive edge with just any diploma from just any college is reflected in the ferociousness of the race to get into elite universities. It’s madness out there. Tiger mothers and $125-an-hour tutors proliferate, and parents scrimp and struggle to pay up to $40,000 a year in tuition to private secondary schools that then put them on the spot for supplemental donations, lest the soccer field turn brown and the Latin club languish. The two Americas are evident in education as perhaps nowhere else.
Trying to keep higher learning as affordable as possible is a crucial effort to collapse that divide. No good can come from letting college — as a goal, as an option — slip away. But as a guarantor of a certain quality of life, it already has. And we need to look at a whole lot more than loan rates to fix the problem.”