My valuable, cheap college degree

National School Choice Week is coming to a close, and while the focus is on K-12 what about the choice and options available in higher education? College costs have skyrocketed - in 2011 the average tuition for one year at a private university was almost $33,000.Ballooning student loan debt, an impending college bubble, and a falling return on the bachelor's degree all scream out for entrepreneurial solutions, but does one exist?

AEI President, Arthur Brooks writes in today's New York Times about a proposal gaining steam, the $10,000 college degree - the so called '10k- BA'. This idea is inching closer to becoming a reality by governors in Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin, but is not without its critics who view it as leading to 'diploma mills' diminishing the value of a higher education degree.

Brooks notes:
“I possess a 10k-BA, which I got way back in 1994. And it was the most important intellectual and career move I ever made. Did I earn a "worthless degree"? Hardly. My undergraduate years may have been bereft of frissons, but I wound up with a career as a tenured professor at Syracuse University, a traditional university. I am now the president of a Washington think tank....It is true that I am no Harvard Man. But I can say with full confidence that my 10k-BA is what made higher education possible for me, and it changed the course of my life. More people should have this opportunity, in a society that is suffering from falling economic and social mobility.”                                                                                                             

To arrange an interview with AEI President, Arthur Brooks, or an AEI education scholar please contact a member of the media team at [email protected] or (202.862.5829).

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Teacher quality 2.0: Toward a new era in education reform

Please join AEI for a conversation among several contributors to the new volume “Teacher Quality 2.0: Toward a New Era in Education Reform” (Harvard Education Press, 2014), edited by Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane. Panelists will discuss the intersection of teacher-quality policy and innovation, exploring roadblocks and possibilities.

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