In interesting news today, Missouri’s College of the Ozarks will no longer accept students who need to take out loans in order to pay for their schooling.
Reuters reports that the Christian school “is so concerned about mounting debt of college graduates” that 90% of its student body pays for tuition through work credits, grants, and college scholarships.
Jerry Davis, the school’s president, feels that students across the country are graduating with massive amounts of debt, and that the school’s intention is to help students be as money savvy as possible.
We are basically just trying to look out for the students’ interests. Kids nowadays are not very sophisticated with money. Debt is a big problem all over the country. This college has a very low percentage of students graduating with debt, but it has come up a little and we just don’t think that is a good idea. This a work college, not a debt college.
Student debt approached $1 trillion at the end of last year, and the average student carries $26,600 of debt with them when they graduate. One in two college graduates are underemployed, and they have barely any means to start paying off their massive student loans.
College of the Ozarks is on to something, but their model is probably not going to be adapted by colleges across the country any time soon. It’s a nice, utopic take on how to remedy the woes of skyrocketing college tuition, but expensive, brand-name colleges won’t — and don’t want to — drop students who need to take loans out to fund their college lives.
Just recently, Columbia revealed that for the 2013-2014 academic year, a year-long masters program in journalism will set a student back $58,008 in tuition costs. There are not enough exclamation and question marks I can use to express my disbelief at why higher education would cost that much money. But that’s the reality of America’s college system and we would need thousands of Colleges of Ozarks in order to fix our higher education problems.
What do you think? Do you agree with Ozarks’ model?