Universities depend on taxpayer money to survive, and they are wasting those funds


In America today, there are three interlocking crises that may finally collapse “Big Ed”, the nation’s dysfunctional higher education cartel. The latest headlines focus on moral collapse, as campuses that aggressively policed so-called microaggressions now host students screaming “intifada”. Recent years have also been marked by an intellectual collapse. Quantitative fields from genetics to finance to psychology have been exposed for suffering severe “replication crises”. Qualitative fields from literature to sociology to gender studies often produce faddish, politicised nonsense.

But the third crisis, and the one that strikes closest to home for most, is the utter failure of the US “college-for-all” model to prepare young people for successful lives. Educators and policymakers converted American secondary schools into college preparatory academies and ploughed hundreds billions of dollars of subsidies into colleges while encouraging students to take on yet more debt. Yet fewer than one in five students moves smoothly from high school to college to career. Even among those who earn a college degree, close to half then take a job that doesn’t require it.

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Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
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