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July 10, 2013 at 9:23 am

Vedder in NYTimes: Oregon Proposal for College Costs Could Work With Adjustments

Dr. Richard Vedder, Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Professor of Economics at Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences, published an opinion column July 9 in the New York Times’ Room for Debate  on Oregon’s proposal to delay when students pay for a college education until after graduation. His column is “It Could Work With Some Adjustments.”

Oregon’s proposal for students paying for their college education after graduation is intriguing. I have long advocated “human capital contracts” where students sell “equity” in themselves, giving up a share of future income in return for college financing. Oregon deserves kudos for thinking outside the box. But the idea has limitations as well.

First, as proposed, students who anticipate receiving high paying jobs would steer away from this financing, leaving a pool of individuals with relatively low earnings prospects. It would be popular among prospective social workers, and dance and anthropology majors, but not those in electrical engineering or math — is this desirable?

Second, since funds repaying Oregon for the education would not begin flowing in for many years, the cost of funding such a proposal would be substantial….

Read the entire column.

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