University Business - June 2012 - (Page 78)

CAmpus FINANCE By Justin Draeger Myths U nless you live in a cave, you’ve seen the alarming headlines highlighting “exploding” college costs and “crushing” student loan debt. Because the media is trying to grab readers’ attention, these articles often use the most startling cases of these serious problems without providing context needed to fully understand the complexity of these issues. A simple internet search reveals the prevalence of these types of articles. Here are just a few recent headlines: • College Costs and Student Debt Explode? • Student Loans May Be ‘Next Debt Bomb’ for Economy • Student Loan Debt Is Crushing America’s Senior Citizens • Staggering Law School Debts Will Lead to Exploding Debt Disaster for Graduates and Taxpayers The aim here is not to trivialize the challenge students and families face when trying to pay for college or repay loans. These are serious issues that merit serious debate and real solutions. But 78 | June 2012 3 Dangerous stuDent aiD What higher education leaders can do to debunk them it’s important to take a realistic look at the college access and affordability challenges we face to encourage a thoughtful and practical debate based on facts. While these articles effectively accomplish their goal of grabbing readers’ attention, they do a poor job of informing the public of the complex interplay between the many economic, demographic, and technological factors driving up the cost of college and student loan borrowing. Unfortunately, a more accurate headline, such as “A Complex Combination of Economic Factors Increases College Costs and Loan Debt for Certain Students,” just isn’t as effective in grabbing readers’ attention as headlines that suggest increasing college costs and student loan debt will cause immediate and devastating economic and societal damage. Articles framed in that way hinder serious, rational debate on these issues. Worse, these articles make it appear as though

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - June 2012

University Business - June 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Independent Outlook
Special Section: Thinking Green
4G: Is It Time for an Upgrade?
Unified Security: All Together Now
Collaborative Workflow
Campus Finance News
3 Student Aid Myths
Deepening the Donor Pool
Keeping Tuition Within Reach
Internet Technology
End Note

University Business - June 2012