Can We Consolidate Number of Colleges to Reduce Cost and Student Debt?

Today, I am not giving my opinion in this blog except to say I agree with Mark Cuban on colleges, college debt and consolidation of universities and colleges. I will add some numbers I found at the bottom of the blog.

Is a four-year college a good investment today?

That question was asked to businessman Mark Cuban in an interview with CNN and he had this to say:

If you pick the right one, yes. Kids should go to school. But you should only pick a school that you can graduate from with little or no debt. You don’t need a boat anchor of college debt killing your ability to reach your goals. The biggest drain on our economy today is student debt.

Student debt is a big deal. So how do we reduce it?

Cuban had an idea on that issue, too.

We should put a limit on the amount of federal guarantees available for student loans. If we started a program that put a limit at $50,000 per year next year, then $40,000 in three years, then $30,000 in six years, down to $10,000 in 10 years, you would see the price of education drop like a rock.

Student loan guarantees are like the easy money that led to the real estate and financial crash six years ago.

On Merging Colleges:

Universities and colleges would merge and find themselves forced to be far more effective. The best analogy I can give you is that student loan guarantees are like the easy money that led to the real estate and financial crash six years ago. Schools raise tuition because they know the money is there.

What the (Obama) administration is doing now to try to slow tuition increases will have a minuscule impact. Put a cap on student loans, and you will find college affordable for everyone very quickly. There may be fewer, more efficient and more targeted schools, but it will be more than supplemented by customized education.

One anecdote: I was speaking to a large group of political supporters. People who had donated a ton to campaigns. I asked them who thought tuitions were too high. Hands went up. I asked which of them had put their name on anything at a college campus. Hands stayed up.

Then I made them realize they were part of the problem. If you donate money to build a building, you aren’t helping; you are hurting. Buildings cost money to maintain. Forever. And ever. They drain resources and don’t create any. Other than special lab environments, a desk or seat for a sociology, business, psychology or writing class works the same in every building.

We don’t need new buildings, new cafeterias, new fitness centers on the campus. Let the local markets take care of those.

What we need is a reasonable cost of education that doesn’t require students to go into debt. When that happens, not only will more kids go to college, but the economy will explode from all the money moving from debt to spending.

Editor’s Note- I have always admired the way Mark Cuban has handled business. In fact, I like his methods much better than Donald Trump. Here are some numbers I found through searching the internet on the number of colleges and universities per state.

STATE                    # INSTITUTIONS

  • Alaska                   AK          35
  • Alabama              AL           129
  • Arkansas              AR          108
  • Arizona                AZ           156
  • California             CA          1246
  • Colorado              CO          171
  • Connecticut        CT           115
  • District of Columbia         DC          33
  • Delaware             DE           23
  • Florida                  FL            439
  • Georgia                                GA          210
  • Guam                    GU         2
  • Hawaii                   HI            43
  • Iowa                      IA            107
  • Idaho                    ID            33
  • Illinois                   IL             392
  • Indiana                IN           175
  • Kansas                  KS           99
  • Kentucky             KY           165
  • Louisiana             LA           174
  • Massachusetts  MA         261
  • Maryland             MD         148
  • Maine                   ME         60
  • Michigan              MI          302
  • Minnesota          MN        169
  • Missouri               MO        242
  • Mississippi          MS         69
  • Montana             MT         54
  • North Carolina   NC          188
  • North Dakota     ND          30
  • Nebraska             NE          68
  • New Hampshire               NH          43
  • New Jersey        NJ           207
  • New Mexico      NM        61
  • Nevada                                NV          77
  • New York            NY          633
  • Ohio                      OH          386
  • Oklahoma           OK          158
  • Oregon                OR          125
  • Pennsylvania     PA          544
  • Puerto Rico         PR           161
  • Rhode Island      RI            37
  • South Carolina   SC           97
  • South Dakota     SD           33
  • Tennessee          TN          191
  • Texas                    TX           506
  • Utah                      UT          60
  • Virginia                VA          222
  • Virgin Islands     VI            2
  • Vermont              VT           32
  • Washington        WA         164
  • Wisconsin            WI          132
  • West Virginia     WV         99
  • Wyoming             WY         17

That is just staggering. Look at all that duplication of services and costs.