The March-April BizVoice magazine will be packed with stories, features and analysis on education and workforce development. One of those articles will be interviews with Tom Snyder and Jamie Merisotis on their recent trip to the White House to discuss higher education affordability and productivity.
Here’s a sneak preview in the form of Merisotis’ answer to my question on who is responsible for escalating higher ed prices. As always, his take is informative and insightful.
"The responsibility for rising prices rests primarily with three things. First, the seeming inability of colleges and universities to significantly bring down their costs. Rather than beat up on colleges and universities, we’ve got to create the right kinds of opportunities and incentives to help them actually bring down their costs.
"The second is public policy/government as there has been a systematic disinvestment in higher education at the state level that is pretty pronounced. We’ve seen a declining share of resources for public higher education in virtually every state in the country.
"The third might be one that would surprise you … us collectively as Americans. We have been willing to pay the rising price for higher education because we intuitively get the benefits you get from a college degree. The question has been posed a lot in recent years — is college still worth it? From my perspective, the answer is a resounding yes.
"It’s unequivocal; college is definitely worth it, but the public’s willingness to continue to pay prices that have exceeded the rates of inflation for nearly three decades and the capacity of the public to take on increasing debts for students is part of the problem as well.
"We’ve got to find ways for the public to also be more judicious about how they select a college or university, how they’re willing to pay for it — how much should really be debt-based as opposed to saving more and doing more to prepare. Any efforts are going to have to get at all three of these root causes."
See, I told you it would be good. You might have to read it again to take it all in. And be sure to check out BizVoice (new edition online on February 28) for much more.