One of the big issues this election is post high school education and how to pay for it. To begin with, we must realize that college is not the answer for everyone, it was not for me, and we should stop pushing the narrative that it is. There is a dearth of qualified people for nearly all vocational trades, training for it is relatively inexpensive, and wages are approaching the six figure mark for well qualified persons.
So to begin with, let’s do a better job of identifying a high school student’s talents, area of interest, and then gear their education toward enhancing them. A student who shows a high degree of skill for a math or scientific career, may not need as much in terms of language courses and so on. In other words, let us make a more customized curriculum for high school juniors & seniors and start them down a path that will make them productive & happy. As for the rest of my K-12 public education policy, I will continue to advocate for local control of community schools between the parents, their school boards, and educators.
For those destined for college, there are several areas involving the cost of it that need to be addressed. First like anything, the more the government is involved, the more wasteful & expensive things get. One of the biggest mistakes was getting the private sector out of making student loans. This not only reduced competition, which naturally drove interest rates ups for student loans, but eliminated the oversight necessary to keep students from entering careers, which repayment of those loans was going to be impossible.
Second one simple rule of economics is that anytime the government takes a dollar from the taxpayer & puts it where it thinks it belongs; it’s a dollar taken away from where it would naturally flow & do the most good. The more taxpayer dollars the government diverts into assisting students pay for college, the more expensive it gets. So lastly there’s an innovative solution: Income Sharing Agreements. In this solution, private companies put up the money for a student’s tuition and the student signs a contract to pay a certain percentage of his future income over a set number of years for repayment. The percentage and number of years is based on the lender’s appraisal of the probability of the student getting a job when finished with college and average wage they will earn. The better the chance of landing a good job, the lower the rate and shorter the time. The worse the chances, the higher the rate and the longer the time.
In other words, the lender is identifying good career choices and it’s up to the student to decide the amount of risk and responsibility they wish to take. The lender’s incentive to be honest here is that once the contract time length expires, the contract is considered fulfilled whether the loan is paid back yet or not.
This type of arrangement would encourage wise decision making on both sides, bringing free market economics back into the system, assist students in making better career choices, reduce the burden on taxpayers, and solve the current mess the government has created by once again thinking that only it can run things properly.