Friday, April 8, 2016

Indentured Servitude?

The problem of the high price of the university education is due to the unnecessary explosive investments in "pyramids" built on campuses which result in voracious appetites for maintenance. Build a $200M new research center from wealth alumni and be strapped with a 10% pa maintenance bill growing at inflation plus. No sensible business person would take on that liability unless of course you have an ever ending ability to tax the "consumer".

So as the NY Times notes the next way to get money is to monetize the economic lives of your graduates. One can envision multiple hedge fund type strategies to make profit off of this process. As the Times notes:

At Purdue University, some undergraduates will have a new option to help finance their degrees: pledging to pay a percentage of their future incomes in return for funds today. Starting this fall, juniors and seniors will have access to the school’s Back a Boiler program, an alternative financing arrangement known as an income-share agreement. Such programs are not loans. Instead, students get funds to cover current education expenses, and, in return, they agree to pay a percentage of their future income over an agreed-upon period of time. When that repayment term ends, so does the student’s obligation, even if their total payments are less than the amount they received. Though an emerging corner of the educational finance industry, such programs help ease the often crushing debt many American college students face after graduation, proponents say. A small number of lenders have tested the model in recent years, but Purdue is the first American university to officially embrace the concept.

This is in my opinion an indentured servitude, and servitude to whomever holds the note. Hopefully students can be more astute but in today's world the helicopter generation has no competence in determining the impact. They will walk freely like lambs to the slaughter.