Thomas Friedman (NY Times) and Mark C. Tyler (Bloomberg) deliberate on finding the right balance between individual entrepreneurship and investing in higher education to create a sustainable economy. In The Hill a take on bipartisan politics regarding student loan interest rates possibly doubling in July. Nicholas Lehman also weighs in on the interest rate debate in this week’s New Yorker. Read Richard Geldard to learn about ideas being implemented to ease financial burden for students (Huffington Post).

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“Do You Want the Good News First?” by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 5-19-12

(excerpt):

What we must preserve is that magic combination of cutting-edge higher education, government-funded research and immigration of high-I.Q. risk-takers. They are, in combination, America’s golden goose, laying all these eggs in Seattle and Silicon Valley. China has it easy right now. It just needs to do the jobs that we have already invented, just more cheaply. America has to invent the new jobs — and that requires preserving the goose.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/opinion/sunday/friedman-do-you-want-the-good-news-first.html?_r=1&hp

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“How Competition is Killing Higher Education” by Marc C. Tyler, Bloomberg.com, 5-17-12

 (excerpt):

Competition, we are constantly told, encourages individuals, institutions and companies to take the risks necessary for innovation and efficiency. But in higher education, competition often discourages risk taking, leads to overly cautious short-term decisions, produces a mediocre product for the price, and promotes excessive spending on physical plants and bureaucracies.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-17/competition-is-killing-higher-education-part-1-.html

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“Low student loan interest rates in limbo after Democrats’ bill stalls in Senate” by Daniel Strauss and Alexander Bolton, The Hill, 5/8/12

 (excerpt):

Obama has sought to turn the issue of student loans against Republicans, but the Senate’s failure to pass its own bill will make that more challenging.

The House late last month approved legislation that would keep the interest rate stable, though Obama has threatened to veto that measure. Obama supports extending the low interest loans but opposes the House GOP offset, which would cut from a preventive healthcare fund set up by the 2010 healthcare reform law. 

The legislation offered by Senate Democrats would pay for the $6 billion extension of low-interest loans by closing tax loopholes on shareholders of S-corporations. Republicans are strongly opposed to that pay-for. 

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/226055-dems-student-loan-bill-fails-in-senate

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From “The Cost of College” by Nicholas Lehman in The New Yorker, 5-28-12

(excerpt):

The job market for graduates is weak. Two years ago, Steve Eisman, the investor who made a fortune shorting subprime mortgages, gave a speech, entitled “Subprime Goes to College,” in which he predicted a 2008-style meltdown at for-profit universities, driven by systemic defaults on student loans. That prediction is now being applied to traditional colleges, too. Why, then, are both candidates proposing to further inflate a bubble that’s about to burst?

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/05/28/120528taco_talk_lemann#ixzz1vhLcm9eN

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 “Student Loans and the Education Crisis” by Richard Geldard, Huffington Post, 5-15-12

(excerpt):

A slew of new books, like Andrew Delbanco’s College, argue passionately for the survival of the residential college experience for our young people, but the reality of affording such an experience pleads for reform and fundamental change. Anthony Grafton’s review of College puts the matter succinctly when he says “…a shake-up is coming, and possibly something more dramatic.”

Speaking of dramatic, certainly one of the answers is online education: cheaper, more practical and widely available. Even the most prestigious are in the game: Harvard and MIT recently announced their free course offerings over the internet. MIT’s “Circuits and Electronics” enrolled 120,000 students, 10,000 of whom passed the first exam.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-geldard/student-loans-and-the-edu_b_1509078.html