We know students and families across generations are struggling with their debt. High debt can also have serious impact on the economy: causing a generation of Americans to hold off starting a family, buying a house, or even saving for retirement.
The Obama administration's efforts to implement policies to address access and cost issues in higher education are well-intended. Yet in truth, they put the cart before the horse. A significant amount of work must be done first.
AASCU proposes a federal matching program to stop the privatization of public higher education. Called the Federal-State College Affordability Partnership, it would leverage up to $15 billion in federal student aid dollars to incentivize states to invest in public higher education.
I have explained to my children that when it comes to higher education, their parents are active co-investors. Thus we expect regular reports both from the universities and from them. Otherwise, both can expect to hear from us.
To be sure, then notion of excellence in academic thought must remain central to the identity of the university. But academic excellence, however critically important to the process, only serves as half of the equation.
Well-intended efforts to change the general education curriculum have foundered on the shoals of academic politics. As a consequence, students are leaving college insufficiently prepared to be the kinds of leaders our world desperately needs.
Increasing the value of our higher education system is a worthy enterprise. While many features of the proposed plan make sense, some measures under consideration to define the value of a college are unsettling.
Remember that college is for you. It's not for your friends. It's not for your family (though if they are helping foot the bill, you do owe them some respect). It's for you. Don't make so many decisions for other people that you forget to make them for yourself
While we can't hold tuition and fees at a standstill forever, we continue to study and explore cost-saving measures in other areas we can pass on to our students. At Texas Tech, this is an ongoing process, a year-round approach that keeps us ahead of this annual issue.
Make no mistake, much good has come of the recent push to hold colleges responsible for assessing student outcomes, for controlling costs, and for graduating the students we admit. The national accrediting agencies have stepped up on this effort.