1. The cost of post-secondary education in the US continues to increase, leading to a federal loan debt of $1.56 trillion as of Q4 2020.
2. A comparison between two public Hispanic Serving Institutions in central California, Bakersfield College and California State University, Bakersfield, revealed differences in loan default rates despite similarities.
3. Although the top degrees at both institutions did not align well with local labor market demands, completing a degree still provides individual and institutional economic benefits that exceed costs.
The article "Student Repayment Crisis and the Value of Higher Education" by Elisa P. Queenan and Brian D. Street provides a cost-benefit analysis of two post-secondary institutions in central California, Bakersfield College (BC) and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), to examine their alignment with the local labor market, institutional economic benefits and costs, and impact of loan default. The authors argue that despite the increasing cost of post-secondary education, both individual and institutional economic benefits exceed the costs.
One potential bias in this article is its focus on only two institutions in a specific geographic location. While BC and CSUB may be representative of other public Hispanic Serving Institutions in central California, they may not be representative of other types of institutions or regions across the US. Additionally, the authors do not provide information on how they selected these two institutions for comparison.
The article also presents some unsupported claims, such as stating that "the top degrees at BC and CSUB did not align well with local labor market demands." However, the authors do not provide evidence to support this claim or explain how they determined what constitutes "local labor market demands."
Furthermore, while the authors acknowledge that completing a degree and entering the labor market are crucial factors in determining individual and institutional economic benefits, they do not explore potential barriers to degree completion or employment opportunities for graduates. For example, they do not consider how systemic inequalities such as race or socioeconomic status may impact students' ability to complete their degrees or find employment after graduation.
The article also does not present counterarguments or alternative perspectives on the value of higher education. While it acknowledges that student loan debt has reached $1.56 trillion in the US, it does not address concerns about whether this debt is worth it for students who may struggle to repay their loans or face limited job prospects after graduation.
Overall, while "Student Repayment Crisis and the Value of Higher Education" provides some useful insights into the economic benefits and costs of post-secondary education, it is limited in its scope and does not fully address potential biases or alternative perspectives.