WILL Report on College Degrees

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WILL Report on College Degrees

December 17, 2022 - 08:57
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The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty published a recent report called BANG FOR THE BUCK-Y, How to direct college students towards degrees that will improve Wisconsin’s workforce.

This is a timely report given President Biden's loan forgiveness plan that does nothing to try to fix the real issues: students taking on more debt for a career that will never earn enough to pay back their loans fully, and colleges charging students even more without putting them on a successful career path.

The main takeaways from the report:

  • Without addressing the main problem, subsequent waves of student loan forgiveness will be demanded by student borrowers and left-leaning administrations will feel the pressure to acquiesce.
  • Nationally, the cost of a 4-year degree has exploded in the last 50 years. Since the 1960s the average cost has gone up 747% after adjusting for inflation.
    • Note: Wisconsin's numbers are better than the national average due to the tuition freeze since 2013.
  • More and more families see a four-year degree as an expectation.
    • Note: There still is a substantial income benefit to graduating from college.
  • Default rates are highest at beauty schools, with 10 times more hours required for a cosmetology license than to become an EMT.
  • Colleges and universities encourage students to choose majors with a high return on investment (ROI), likely leading to a successful life.
  • Requiring more information on a major declaration form such as average lifetime ROI for career, media salary, and loan repayment figures. By requiring students to fill out this information themselves, they are consenting to an informed decision and acknowledging the expected results of it.
  • Performance-based funding for universities where programs that have negative ROI and high rate of defaults for students must create a plan for improvement and be evaluated based on the success of those improvements. Financial penalties could be considered for programs that do not show improvement.

    What the Legislature has done

    • SB 833: eliminates the sunset date for the dual enrollment program so that grants can continue to be awarded to students earning college credit in high school. Also expands eligibility for grants to students attending independent charter schools.
    • Invested $5 million to implement the Nurse Educators program.

    To improve Wisconsin's workforce we need students to be better prepared for a variety of career fields. That means high schools teaching skills to students so they can enter the workforce upon graduation if they choose, providing college credits so incoming freshman are already ahead, and investing in technical colleges and four-year universities.

    If you have thoughts or feedback on this, please give my office a call at (608) 266-9171 or email me at Rep.Vos@legis.wi.gov. I’m always happy to help with any state-related matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  • There is 1 Comment

    In America, it is expensive and difficult to find someone to build, repair, or service your home, car, or household items. Technical Schools are where many should seek an education if they want to make a good income that can pay their bills, and lead to a rewarding career. The price is reasonable, not like when I was there, but still a real bargain. The modern extravagant bureaucrats have has taken the basic Technical Schools and built extensive, extravagant facilities that are nice, but not needed. This throw-away mentality from the bureaucrats that continues to push our colleges to build new and destroy the old, functional facilities raises the cost of education.

    One big thing that many don't realize, is what the student pays for tuition is a fraction of what the taxpayer pays. We build the buildings, we own the land, and we put in a fortune for maintaining the facilities and paying the staff.

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