The Biden Administration recently gave some student loan borrowers a free lunch by canceling $10,000 in student loan debt for graduates earning under $125,000 and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. But the most under-discussed aspect of the Biden Administration’s plan is the fact that colleges get off scot-free. They got the money but none of the debt, so they will continue with business as usual—that is, they will continue to raise tuition at five times the general inflation rate.
What’s more, current students will now expect future debt forgiveness, which means American taxpayers will likely again be on the hook.
NAS has previously stated that student loan forgiveness treats the symptoms and neglects the disease. But it’s actually worse than that since this “treatment” signals to schools that their obscene tuition hikes—fueled by the easy money of student loans in the first place—can continue with impunity: The silence of colleges and universities is deafening. They don’t want to rock the lucrative boat of student loan cash. Many schools, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, have amassed wealth of unimaginable proportions in recent years; the value of college endowments at American institutions of higher education now exceeds $690 billion. Many schools are basically wealth management funds with students thrown in.
Some still pretend that American higher education is a “public good” that deserves non-profit status, government appropriations, and other tax perks at both the state and federal levels. But what are schools doing with all their cash? Hiring more professors, researchers, and books?
The money is spent on administrative bloat, including the diversity racket. As the NAS report Priced Out documents, schools are skimping on instruction while hiring administrators and dean-lets, many in the diversity bureaucracy. These diversicrats are not only not transmitting knowledge or encouraging critical thinking; they are, in fact, opposed to such educational goals. For example, they are responsible for campus speech codes that offend the First Amendment and other expression guarantees; “bias response teams,” code for staff who impose politically correct thought control; and due process nightmares from the Title IX office, where countless unsuspecting students and faculty have been railroaded with wrongful accusations of sexual misconduct, including in essay writing. (You read that right.)
Is this the “public good” of education or the dreamland of commissars and apparatchiks?
With no reforms to higher education, the Biden administration’s fake generosity—robbing Peter to pay Paul—will return student loan debt to current levels in less than five years.
The Biden administration prolongs the problem of unjustly enriching colleges while unjustly impoverishing American taxpayers. It’s high time that public officials get serious about real higher education reform and slay the immoral beast that is the American college industrial complex.
Image: Jp Valery, Public Domain