Those who know a little about the student loan bubble realize that the financial crisis is coming to a head at a College or University near you. Currently, 50% of the student loans haven’t had a single payment made, are over 7-years without a payment, or over 90-days in the rears (technical default). How did things get so far out-of-whack you ask? Well, it is a combination of academic wishful thinking, and clueless students and the parents who may have co-signed for them. Whatever the case is in any individual defaulted student loan – all together the problem is massive.
When the Student Loan Bubble Bursts
When the student loan bubble pops, and it will, what will become of these Universities and Colleges? Can they survive on 1/2 their current students? No, nor will they be able to pay the legacy costs of former professors or pay their current professors’ salaries, benefits, healthcare or pension contributions. Think I am kidding? Why not do a little research on this yourself?
In an Op-Ed by Robert Larivere, the President of University of Oregon (at the time), in the Wall Street Journal on November 23, 2010 titled; “Saving Public Universities, Starting With My Own” he suggested “The solution is an endowment funded by public and private contributions. Here’s how to do it.” He then lists three key points having to do with vision, focus, planning, budgeting, and increased taxpayer money from the state. Basically, he identified their current course is unsustainable back in 2010, and the temporary reprieve thanks to easy-to-get student loans, which only bloated the budgets and exacerbated the end game – bubble burst.
Maybe the real answer is to let the Universities fail on their own accord, then up-end higher education allowing the disruption of new technology. There is an interesting White Paper put out by Maplesoft – Mathematics, Modeling and Simulation Corp. titled; “The Evolution and Revolution of Online Education,” which stated;
“The Online Learning Consortium noted in 2014, more than 5 million students in the US were taking at least 1 online course,” and any professor who hosts MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) free or otherwise will tell you that for every US online student, they have 10-20 foreign students watching and/or participating in the course. Why you ask? No, it isn’t challenges with Student VISAs rather because foreign students often pay more than 3-times the tuition of in-state students at our Universities. Also, many can’t afford to travel to the US or afford much of any tuition costs.
According to the White Paper, new advances in software allow professors to use tools such as:
– Adaptive Learning Environments
– Recorded or Real Time Video Lectures
– Online Interactive Textbooks – eBook Style
– Personalized Learning Paths and Curriculums
– Instant Feedback and Questions (in real time)
– Testing and Feedback – Quiz, Tests, Final Exams
– Actual Data Measuring Student Comprehension
The Future of Higher Education
In the future we can expect Holographic Imaging through AR (augmented reality) or VR (virtual reality) headsets or projection right in one’s living room, begging the question, who needs to pay expensive tuition for an ROI on expensive buildings by world renowned architects and designers?
Why worry about 100+ student classrooms, why not have 40-50,000 students and save the money on the building, divide that by a tenured professor’s salary or 150K or maybe a few and a bunch of grad student helpers. Your online course, same information for under $20.00 per course, not $1300 per hour-credit (2015-2016 Harvard cost – a 3-4 unit course would be $3900 to $5,200).
The student loan bubble is huge, and something needs to change. Let the free-market change them from the outside – competition is needed in academia – it’s long overdue. Online learning will be poised to benefit from the student loan bubble which continues to grow at an alarming rate.
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Original Source: EzineArticles.com