Commentary

The latest through-the-looking glass take on higher education from the Pope empire

The Pope Center for Higher Education is out with a new article in which it laments the fact that student loan debt and loan defaults are both up in North Carolina.  This is obviously not an unimportant problem and so good for them for raising it.

As one might have suspected, however, the group’s conclusion as to why this is so and what ought to be done about it are mostly the usual market fundamentalist gibberish.

According to the Pope people, too many North Carolinians go to college — especially minority students who go to HBCU’s. The “solution,” therefore, is for all those kids who are trying to better themselves to cut it out. Better to get a job in retail or fast food and get on with life as a cog in the new post-industrial North Carolina.

Uh, earth to Pope people: Your article never mentions the word “tuition” except to say that it’s generally lower in HBCU’s.  In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been skyrocketing in the UNC system in recent years as conservatives have repeatedly slashed the state’s commitment to higher education.

A critical and obvious part of the solution to the problem of rising student debt — notwithstanding the Pope group’s denials — is to lower tuition and the other costs associated with higher education.  That an article would purport to discuss the problem of rising student debt without even paying lip service to the rapidly rising cost of attending college (or for that matter, the proliferation of predatory, for-profit colleges) is a testament to the amazingly powerful blinders with which the ideologues on Right Wing Avenue view the world and dispense their toxic policy prescriptions.

2 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    August 25, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    They certainly have a point. The University-Education complex has used easy government money to slide many people into a higher level of education than many of the students need. A lot of people who would have gone to trade school or community colleges are needlessly wasting a couple of years and thousands of dollars flunking out of school, or even worse spending many more thousands on a degree that provides little to no value once they are out of school. I have been of the opinion that the education loan system is going to be a bubble similar to the housing bubble (note that there are similar drivers in place as the housing bubble) where the system is ripe for a crash.

  2. LayintheSmakDown

    August 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I also find it interesting the schools with the highest default rates actually do have a pattern and wonder if they are more likely to let in borderline students that could be better served elsewhere. Interesting….I am surprised Barber is not down at these universities leading protests. He should have time now that the More-On Monday thing has lost all it’s steam.

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