A unique approach to higher education funding

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This article caught my eye today. I’m always watching out for interesting new approaches to education and funding for higher education is one of many challenges we just have to figure out. There’s arguably a student loan bubble as we’ve encouraged people to go to school who aren’t in need of a higher degree based on their objectives. And more important, there are people who haven’t been able to go to school who have the potential to do wonderful things.

This blog proposes a new strategy: we could invest in students based on their potential rather than just giving loans. Basically, students would apply for investment and then be responsible for returning a portion of their salary for some number of years following graduation. It would reduce the risk to students who can’t get jobs or get lower paying jobs, and could also be more financially attractive to the “investor”. At first, I was intrigued …

There’s a critical flaw in this logic, though. It assumes that the students who deserve the most investment are those who will make the most money in the early years of the career. Is that really what will make our society better? Or would we rather reward those who go teach, research, innovate or in other ways contribute back to society? Well, I have a strong opinion on this and it isn’t aligned with this so called “investment” plan. So let’s keep coming up with creative ideas!

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