Tag Archives: College

The Dalai Lama Is the Latest Speaker to Cause a Campus Freakout

Chinese UC San Diego students felt the Tibetan spiritual leader contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness

Rather than the usual hullabaloo over Charles Murray, Ann Coulter, and Milo Yiannopoulos, the subject of student ire this Saturday at University of California, San Diego, was none other than the Dalai Lama.

Despite the similarity in rhetoric, the protesters weren’t liberals offended by a provocative right-wing speaker, but Chinese students—the passage above is from the Chinese Students and Scholars Association—who see the Tibetan spiritual leader as a separatist political figure who threatens their culture and governance.

Continue reading at Reason

Is College a Sound “Real World” Investment?

With graduation lurking around the corner and exams finishing up, college students are ending yet another year and, in some cases, preparing to join the workforce. My own social media newsfeed is filled with angst about the “real world” and how to survive this tough transition.

On one hand, I empathize. Being an adult can be difficult, and most of us are making it up as we go. On the other hand, I’m confused about why college is seen as so detached from the real world, and why it’s worth the high price tag if that’s the case.

Read more at FEE

“Social justice lawyers” won’t save law school

Last Friday, the Dean of Brooklyn Law School, Nicholas Allard, published an op-ed in The Hill that theorized a recent minor uptick in the number of law school applications was due to “the intense interest among many Millennials in issues of social justice and the urge to make a positive difference.”

More specifically, Dean Allard pointed to the hordes of attorneys and law students that packed airport terminals in January to provide counsel to visitors caught up in President Trump’s poorly conceived immigration ban. In the dean’s opinion, these activists inspired new law school applicants “like the generation inspired by Woodward and Bernstein to pursue careers in journalism.”

There are entrenched, systemic problems in legal education — over-valued sticker prices, nearly insurmountable student loan debt, curricular requirements that skimp on teaching real lawyering practices — that guarantee law school is a bad choice for many or most students. Dean Allard is making an emotional appeal, but the truth is that legal education is undergoing permanent changes. These changes mean that fewer students should go to law school, constitutional crisis or not.

Continue reading at Learn Liberty.

College Isn’t A Guarantee To The Middle Class

Politicians and commentators love to talk up the notion of a bachelor’s degree as a surefire pathway to the middle class. Statistics show that four-year college graduates earn 68% more than people with only a high school degree. This has led politicians to funnel enormous subsidies into higher education, and for some on the left to go further and call for college to be free entirely.

But a surface interpretation of these numbers violates the number one rule of statistics: correlation does not imply causation. On the contrary, those who choose to go to college in the first place could be (and are) quite different from those who do not. Differences between people may drive part of the premium in earnings for college graduates, rather than the degree itself. An examination of the true value of college must take account of these differences.

There are good reasons to think that college’s true value is much less than what is implied by surface-level numbers. Family income, for instance, affects a child’s future earnings. If college graduates come from disproportionately high-income backgrounds, their average income will be higher—but a good portion of this may be due to background, not college.

Some factors that potentially affect earnings, such as race, family background and school district, are easy to control for. But including such easily measurable attributes only tells part of the story. “Unobservable” factors such as motivation, cognitive ability and social capital all plausibly affect earnings—but may also affect whether a young person decides to attend college.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Most Student Loan Interest Rates Fall To Ten-Year Lows

Wednesday’s release of Treasury yields has determined student loan interest rates for the coming year. Rates for the 2016-17 academic year have fallen by just over half a percentage point across the board relative to this year. Three out of the four loan categories are at their cheapest for students since fixed rates were introduced in 2006.

For undergraduate Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), the most common type of student loan, rates are 3.76%. Subsidized Stafford loans last reached a level this low in the 2012-13 academic year, according to the Department of Education . For unsubsidized undergraduate loans, rates have not been this low since fixed loan rates were introduced ten years ago. The same is true for unsubsidized graduate loans and PLUS loans, which now have interest rates of 5.31% and 6.31%, respectively.

Since 2013, interest rates on student loans have been directly based on the yields of 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds. Prior to 2013, the rates were essentially set by the whims of Congress. Now, the most recent Treasury auction prior to June 1 of each year determines rates for the following year. Undergraduate Stafford loans see rates 2.05 percentage points higher than the Treasury yield, while graduate Stafford loans see rates 3.6 percentage points higher and PLUS loans 4.6 percentage points higher. Continuing a recent trend, Treasury yields fell to just 1.71% at the most recent auction.

Read the full article at Forbes.