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Higher education too important to fail

James Clingman, NNPA Columnist | 4/25/2014, 5:49 a.m.
We may as well call it “Edu-pay-tion,” as far as many prospective students are concerned. The cost of a college ...

— Meanwhile, as we teach our children how to take tests rather than how to use their critical and analytical thinking skills, we are doing them a gross disservice. And similar to what we saw with the sub-prime housing debacle, if we continue to make financial institutions even wealthier by allowing them to make outlandish loans to college students who cannot afford to repay them, we will soon have another piper to pay.

So what do we do? Prospective students should start looking at less expensive alternatives to attain their college degrees. For instance, go to a local school and live at home (I know that’s a tough one, but it beats having to go back to live with your parents when you graduate); stop treating your student loan like it’s a free monthly check that you can use to buy everything but educational necessities; and, here’s a novel idea: work while you are in college. It may not be the most glamorous job, but if it helps pay your tuition and keep you out of thousands in debt, that’s a good thing.

Government and financial institutions worked so well when it came to the bailouts. Banks were too big to fail and had to be helped with $780 billion or so. Aren’t our children too important to fail? Maybe they are not; at least not in this country, huh? Anyway, if they care to listen, banks, proprietary schools, and government officials should get together and stop the madness that has led to $1 trillion in student loan debt while graduates cannot get commensurate employment and cannot compete in a global society.

We have to stop education from turning into “educ-pay-tion.”

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his website: www.blackonomics.com.