Yes, I'm saying that student loans that stick to you through much of your adult life is a very bad idea in supporting a healthy society. If you enter a program under the assumption of getting $X at the end of the program, one can plan and budget a rational justification for taking the course. Now if you assume the graduation is significantly less than 100% and employment rates for graduates are very low, would that same assumption apply? Would me as the 18 year old kid picking his program know the employment prospects when I walked into professional life (assuming for a minute that the 2-4 years in between don't dramatically change the local/national job prospects for said profession)?
If said student decides that the risks are too great to enter school, the alternative is that the only ones going to high end schools are those who can afford the programs. All of a sudden, we're back to a hundred years ago, and high education is for rich people and the workers can have their professional apprenticing.
How about this, as a possible alternative *just spit balling here*
Post a mandatory employment survey for all recipient of government funding on a per school/program. The survery is as follows:
- Are you working in the field you specifically went to school with (Y/N)
- If different from your program, name said profession (unemployed, student, home maker, hospitality, etc..)
- Gross Income per month
The survey is to be completed annually for the life of your loan term.
For all programs that want funding, they should provide:
- Mean/Average/Deviation of all student's gross incomes at year 1 / 5 / 10 as a rolling average of the last 5 years' result prior
- % of students that graduate (rolling average of the last 5 years' result prior)
- % of students that transfer into other programs (and list the top transfer options)
- List of the top transfer programs and the % of students who moved
At 17, I was told by literally everyone that getting into university was the best way to achieve a good job in life. It was that or 'vocational schools' if I wanted to be a carpenter or something(pass), or work at McDonalds the rest of my life. Framing one's entire life off the experiences of those around you is a big step, and if you were 100% prepared for your life at 18, I absolutely salute you for it. But government is for the people (as a whole) and for every person at 18 that knew exactly what they were getting into, there are probably another 10 who don't know what they fuck they're going to do in this lifetime.
Worse, the government supports it by paying a chunk of everyone's money for their experience. It justifiable to assume that the government's financial role in education is geared toward the best interests of society as a whole, hence spending money where it can have the most benefit, so sinking a ton of money into programs known to have horrible track records seems sensible to me.