I’d been browsing through the news recently for a collection of articles to share on a rather broad topic: the influence of moneyed interests on the educational system. This is a longstanding interest of mine, having grown up during a time when a year in university cost about $1,200, and having watched tuition rates and living costs balloon exponentially ever since. But what shocked me into getting the links to this post up that much sooner is this emerging story from the US:
“The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said it brought fraud charges against ITT Educational Services Inc. and two of its top executives, alleging they misled investors about the looming financial impact of two badly-performing student-loan programs on the for-profit educator. […] ITT formed the student-loan programs to provide off-balance-sheet loans for ITT’s students in the wake of the financial crisis, when the market for private student loans dried up and for-profit schools created new ways to help students pay their tuition bills.”
– source: Wall Street Journal
Let us further expand on the dialogue surrounding money in education for the benefit of those who haven’t been as immersed in the debate:
Apparently my excursion from the other day left me laid up a while afterwards, so I’ve been using the time to rest, catch up on current events, and read up about one of my other perennial loves: finance.
I can’t mention it enough: a great many people I’ve encountered over the course of my life have great difficulty doing something as simple as balancing a chequebook. They take on too many bad debts at unrealistic interest rates, they take on financial instruments that built with only the short term in mind, they lose track of where the money goes each payday, or they neglect the purpose of creating and protecting a savings. All of these are pathological and may not at first seem to have that much of an impact, but they cause serious damage and a great deal of strife in the end.
Worse still are those who create an artificial crisis: they catastrophize the state of their being to exclude themselves from scrutiny, or choose to stay anchored to circumstances they could extract themselves from — for example, making proactive renovations or repairs to a home that’s bleeding out money through excessive energy bills each month, instead of putting up with the status quo.