Paul Meloan – Vested Interest

Judge Richard Posner is a famous writer regarding matters of the law and economics.  In his most recent blog post (a blog which he shares with Professor Gary Becker), Judge Posner takes a shot at the increased cost of higher education, and what we have to show for it.

The money quotes:

“I do not have the sense that the quality of college education has improved in the last half century. Colleges have become more competitive, but the forms that the increased competition has taken do not seem to have improved quality.”

and later:

The federal student loan guaranty has pernicious aspects. In particular, it disincentivizes colleges to screen student loan applicants, and in fact incentivizes college administrators not only to raise tuition but also to encourage students to take on excessive debt, since the loans are guaranteed and therefore the university doesn’t have to worry about whether the students can pay back the loans.

“The greatest hope for improvements in quality and reduction in costs of higher education may be the “MOOCs”—massive open online courses. They have revolutionary potential for enhancing competition in higher education by using computer and communications technology to improve quality and drastically reduce cost.

If changes in government, industry, health care, and religion are any guide, it is likely that  our current institutions of higher education are not likely to change, but many of them are likely to be replaced.

Extra Credit reading: Quartz also chimed in with another piece on inequities in college pricing and federal aid.  It’s all enough to make me rejoice my own formal education finished two decades ago.

Paul Meloan is the co-founder and co-managing member of Aegis Wealth Management, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Before Aegis Paul was a practicing attorney as well as working in the tax practice of Ernst & Young, LLP.

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