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.
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.