A Market with False Expectations for Higher Education
This is something that could be written about at such length that no one person or media company could cover it properly. The real employment story for the millions of college students just moving into the work force and those millions in the country looking for work is the lure that higher education will promise a better job and better pay.
The government has now made it so easy for just about anyone (unless you have been convicted of a felony, and they are trying to change that too) to receive financial aid that the short term prospects of not getting or finding a full time job are overridden by higher education. A great but brief look at this topic was published this morning by Michael Barone of The National Review called The Higher Education Bubble. It's simple short-term math. When the government gives you more to go to school than a potential employer will, and the golden carrot of an investment into your higher education is weighed, often school wins out. In the end, sometimes, it is nothing more than another way for the government to enslave its citizens in debt that a non-existent job will never be able to pay back.
When higher education institutions exist (i.e. they couldn't or wouldn't exist otherwise) only because the government pays for 95% of tuition through loans or grants (many schools actually have a 99% financial aid rate), the institutions win, but the students often end up worse off when they finish than if they never went in the first place. The concept is similar to the housing market years ago when the government told everyone it was their right as citizens to own a house, it was an essential part of the "American dream" per-say. It turns out that some actually would have been far better off in the long run renting, imagine that.
Much more could be said about this topic but I will leave that for another day.