Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now I Get It: What College Is Now

I finally figured it out.  I  have been thinking about college in an outdated way and my new approach to understanding higher education now helps me to make sense out of all this.  College is no longer the realm of the intellectual elite.

Of course I knew that college was now a mass institution and that the forces of commodification have worked their magic but the obvious implications of that alluded me.  I kept assuming that higher education was still the realm of lofty thoughts, seeking after truth, and a meritocracy.  I was, of course, wrong.

Now higher education is market driven and the key to market is increased production, and market growth as well as cost containment.  The last frontier in the commodification of higher education is cost containment and we have yet to see the Walmart of higher education emerge.  Instead, the cost of a college degree has continued to rise beyond all reasonableness fueled by usurious student loans where the government acts as the enforcer. Miss your payment and Bruno will come down and break your knees.

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