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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010
Education, the Wisest Investment

This past Sunday, the Arizona Republic ran a front-page article on the rising default rate for student loans in Arizona. While the article does make a passing reference to the rise in such defaults among community college students, it places most of its focus on the defaults among the various private post-secondary students.

Just to be clear, in Arizona private post-secondary education doesn't mean idyllic campuses set among the ivy and hardwood trees where discussions in the liberal arts is conducted in the dead language of the day (remember Wednesday is Attic Greek!) Rather with a few small exceptions, private means occupational like truck-driving or mortuary science or if you want comprehensive University of Phoenix.

In other words private means profit and it is there that the article takes with its reporting of recruiters paid by the number of students enrolled and students with tens of thousands of dollars in loans and stuck in dead-end job. All that was missing was a tracking indicator for University of Phoenix stock.

However you don't need to look at occupational training for people with heavy loan burdens with no job prospects.... why not look at all the private colleges outside of Arizona, set among the ivy and hardwoods? You think anyone from a given New England liberal arts college sat down with a prospective English Lit major and told them that in exchange for four years and $100,000 in tuition that their job prospects out of college might be along the lines of working the espresso machine at the local coffee shop?

Or do you think they took their money and explained to the student what a great education he or she would receive and how it would prepare them for a life of something.... plus there was always grad or law school to learn a practical trade.

Or better yet, do you think anyone from the Republic walked down the street to the ASU School of Journalism and informed the students there (who are racking up debt even if it is at a public school) and informed them of their miserable job prospects?