Education—The Next Bubble?

By: Dr. Lynn Reaser, 

college1As the cost of higher education continues to escalate and students accumulate more debt, the question is beginning to arise:  Is college the next bubble, with some kind of crash ahead?

Bubbles generally involve assets (such as houses, art, or even Bitcoins) that can be sold to a series of buyers with each bidding up the price to higher levels.  Spending on higher education is a very different type of asset.  It is an investment that will be held only by you forever.

The rising cost of college is making it a poor investment for those who earn degrees that will never generate sufficient income but only more debt.  Colleges need to reform their cost structures, including their optimal platforms for delivering education.  Online learning and other innovations will probably play keep parts in that process.

College is not for everyone.  Many will be successful without a four-year degree or additional learning in graduate school.  The technical training offered by many community colleges will pave successful career paths for others.  But, most individuals will find investment in higher education essential for the job market and their futures.


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