College Loans Are Exploiting Students

I recently watch an interesting TED Talk by Penn State business professor Sajay Samuel.  He presents a potential solution to the overwhelming cultural issue of college loan debt in America. Although I can probably find a few flaws with his argument I think he does a good job presenting a solution that is workable to a problem that absolutely NEEDS solving.

The college lending business is a farce, a giant bubble waiting to pop.  A friend brought this idea to my attention awhile back, since that conversation the writing on the wall has become even clearer.  The ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing.  Gordon Gekko masked as Mother Theresa.

Quite simply, the heavily protected "education market" is being utilized for extreme financial gain by lenders at the expense of naive kids.  Talk about a curtain to hide behind, a crutch to lean on - selling the American dream - providing kids a higher education, which they undoubtedly do - but at what expense?  I'll contend a high one, entirely too high, handing out huge debts to kids with no income, and no way to pay them back.  

No income, big loans, and easy to obtain.  Sound a little familiar?  Maybe, like another bubble that popped in 2008.  Here's the scary part, at least you got an asset in return for those loans, but THESE loans, they come with no guarantees, nope, not even a promise.

With average incomes declining and college costs rising higher than ever this presents a huge problem for America.  I get it, this raises many questions:

  • What kind of "product" is our university system providing today?

  • What skills are actually required to sustain a career in todays world?

  • What should we do with kids that want but can't afford a formal education?

  • What keeps driving the cost of tuition higher and higher?

However, when is enough, enough, and too much, just too much.  Let's consider the evolution of our workforce, advancements in technology, and modern day companies that don't require a college degree.  The world is changing rapidly, and we need to keep pace.

Thoughts, comments, or concerns?  How would you solve this problem?