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Stop subsidizing worthless graduate programs with taxpayer dollars, education researcher argues

A recent Wall Street Journal article detailed how schools like Columbia University take in millions of dollars in guaranteed federal student loan dollars while delivering worthless graduate degrees.

This is why there should be an end to the federal graduate student loan programs, Preston Cooper, a research fellow with the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, said in a recent essay.

“The existence and scale of these subpar graduate programs is tied to irresponsible federal lending practices, which extend unlimited lines of credit to graduate students with no regard to their ability to repay,” Cooper wrote recently for National Review.

He gave one example of why he wants to “Defund Columbia”:

Students in Columbia’s Master of Fine Arts in film program typically accumulate $181,000 in federal debt, according to the report. But when they enter the labor market, their median salary is just $30,000 — less than one-sixth of the debt they took on. Few, if any, of those students will fully repay what they borrowed from taxpayers.

“Fueled by federal aid, master’s-degree programs have become profit centers for elite universities. Ivy League schools coast off their selective undergraduate programs,” Cooper said. “They leverage this prestige to churn out graduate degrees that would make many for-profit colleges blush.”

“Defunding Columbia and other graduate schools is the most effective way to rescue graduate students from unaffordable debt and taxpayers from the burden of cleaning up the mess,” Cooper said.

Read the essay.

IMAGE: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.com

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