Obama Warns Universities: Tone Down the Tuition Increases

President Obama, during his recent State of the Union address, told colleges and universities they need to slow the rapid rise of tuition prices or risk losing some federal funding (here is the link to the article I read about this: “Warnings of Unintended Consequences”).  This blog post will be short, and related to graduate programs (like MBAs) as well as undergraduate programs.  But here is the problem I see – this proposal only attacks one small symptom of the numerous issues plaguing higher education.

The rising costs of college have started to become a significant burden on the American middle class.  It was recently reported that student loan debt amounts have now surpassed households’ credit card debt.  So it would appear that the rising costs of earning a degree would be to blame.  But here is my complaint – that’s the only reason college is expensive and debt levels are so high.  The price of college could be rising for a number of reasons: higher demand for college education, higher retirement and benefit pay for professors and administrators, fewer contributions from alumni, etc.  And increasing student debt has been a rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street protestors, but rising tuition prices may only be one small part of the reason for higher levels of debt.  Other reasons could include the changing nature of work, globalization and connectivity (which means American workers must literally compete for jobs against workers all over the world), stagnant income levels, and higher American unemployment.

The point is, it seems to me that the President is simply attacking a symptom of the problem, and not the problem itself.  If you were having a headache because your body was fighting an infection, you wouldn’t want to take an Excedrin to get rid of the headache.  The infection would still remain, and it would do you more harm in the long-run.  When it comes to issues that have dramatic effects on all Americans, like rising tuition costs, I hope that our leaders tackle the actual problems instead of simply battling the symptoms.

Ok, well that was kind of a random blog topic for this week, but next week’s topic will be CSUF MBA related!  Until then, here is an interesting article I found this morning:

“Is a Music Industry MBA Right For You?” – I honestly had no idea that music industry MBAs even existed, but this article showed me you can find them in the US and the UK.  Besides the fact that a music industry MBA sounds like a fun degree to pursue, this article asks whether it is even necessary.  Perhaps, due to the changing nature of the music business, a degree in programming or digital media would be a better fit.  What do you think?  Sound off in the comments section below.

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