In yet another cycle of what’s good for the government goose is not good for you, President Obama’s Department of Education proposes rules for private-sector colleges that his own education at Harvard Law would fail to meet.
The new leaner and meaner rules require that students graduate with less than 12% debt-to-income ratio or debt-to-discretionary-income ratio lower than 30%.
When President Obama graduated from Harvard Law, he financed that, in part, with more than $42,000 in loans. The price in 1990 was just $13,400. Now, the tuition cost is more than 320% higher – or $44,000 per year. Adjusting, that means that today, President Obama could graduate with upwards of $134,000 in debt.
To meet that level under the “gainful employment” rules, students would need to have a starting salary of nearly $200,000. Yet, today’s grads only make a median starting salary of $130,000:
“The University of Chicago Law School and Harvard follow closely, with recent grads earning $132,000 and $130,000, respectively. About 10 years into their careers, those grads earn upwards of $200,000.”
Harvard Law fails to meet the new rules. Yet the rules wouldn’t impact Harvard – instead the rules would impact all the private for-profit colleges that help millions of minority and low-income Americans earn a college degree and work toward a better life. At four-year non-profit and public institutions, like Harvard, just 21 percent of graduates are black – compared with 28 percent of graduates at for-profit colleges and universities.
In total, a million students’ programs will be impacted by the new regulaion, causing a third to half of students to leave the college system:
“Of those affected, some 300,000 to 500,000 individuals would likely leave the system of post-secondary education entirely. Many of these students are from lower income and minority groups.”
Without access to education, minority and low-income students will lack opportunities to achieve the skills that will help them succeed in the workforce. This week, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, warned of the impact that these regulations would have on the economy in general, noting that private higher education institutions “play a major role in helping our nation close a serious skills gap.”
But, while the Education Department is cutting off minority and low-income access to these critical skills, President Obama is playing lip service to creating more opportunities:
“The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough,” Obama said. “But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care or a community that views her future as their own — that should offend all of us.”
Is it really any wonder then that 53% of Americans do not view President Obama as “honest or trustworthy?” Is this the turning point where America will start to rebel against the Liberals’ “We know best” policies? Perhaps, but it may be too late for millions of aspirational students.