Thursday, August 30, 2012

Higher Education Is A Business Not a Right

Enrollment Down 98%, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Fraud,
Embezzling Taxpayer Money
Is Morris Brown College Closing?
Among the various false narratives pushed by oligarchic socialists on the left and their useful idiots among the so-called "Occupy Movement" is one that "education is a right". The primary point of that narrative is that college educations should be cheaper of free. Among the motivating factors behind that false narrative is the fact that many students and recent graduates cannot afford to pay their student loans and education-linked debts.

Student loans should be for tuition, books, room and board. Students taking these loans should do so in addition to working part-time jobs, at least, or participating in a work-study program. Many of the students choose, instead, to live on the loans, using the money to buy beer, drugs, and cars. They use them to fund apartments instead of living in the dormitories. In other words, they do not exhibit the high school level skill of budgeting themselves.

The students then pursue degrees in subjects that interest them. They imagine that they are owed a job upon graduation. Their Millennial Generation upbringing has not given them the faculties or skills necessary to compete for employment. They were conditioned, many from kindergarten on, that competition is bad and nobody should be keeping score. They failed to learn that the real world keeps score. It is a fact of life. So, they do not take courses that provide them competitive skills necessary to gain employment.

They believe that the government should mandate companies hire people with degrees in "Gender Studies". They believe the government should pay their bills for them, since they were not smart enough to pay tuition on pragmatic academic pursuits.

Colleges are in the business of providing a service, education and academic resources, for just compensation, tuition and fees. Failing to pay them is theft, pure an simple. The services they provide, usually, do not include guaranteed job placement, though colleges and institutes of technology such as DeVry used to employ that message as a marketing ploy. Employment after graduation is the responsibility of the graduate, not the school. They did their job and gave you what you paid for.

These students also blame the colleges, especially private ones, for the tuition. They do not blame their liberal professors. They blame the bursars, trustees, and administrators. What they fail to realize is that the above do need to be paid for the actual work they do to keep the college running. If students default on student loans or fall behind on tuition payments, it hurts the school and impairs present and future faculty and resources. If they really cared about "education for all" they would pay their bills.

In Atlanta, GA, one college is bankrupt and facing possible closure. Morris Brown College posted a notice on their website concerning these financial troubles that are plaguing the 131 year old university. The school's financial problems are rooted in federal grants to students. The college was receiving up to $8 Million a year in federal student aid. With this "free government money" (taxpayer provided funding) coming in, a former president of the school and a former financial director were embezzling funds and defrauding taxpayers. the funding they stole was not intended for personal use, but to allay some of the college's financial woes. The college is currently over $27 Million in debt, struggling, and taking on volunteer lecturers and professors in an effort to maintain its various curricula. Alumni are even volunteering hours to provide maintenance and janitorial services.

The embezzled taxes defrauded from the citizens of this great republic are even more indicative of the false narrative that somehow taxpayers should assume individuals' responsibilities. In the case of Morris Brown's scandal in the early 21st century, the president, financial director, and school administration believed that tax payers should pay the debts of a private university.

The financial troubles are further exacerbated by the school's rapidly declining enrollment rate. At the time of the fraud scandal, the school had approximately 2,500 students, with 80% of them on federal scholarships and grants. The school is now struggling to keep over 50 students matriculated at the university.

Now, the school faces a very real possibility of closing due to foreclosure and bankruptcy

The school  would do better to restructure how it takes federal grant money and student loans. If the school implemented, instead, a more aggressive work-study program, then they could defray many of their operating costs by having students maintain the school and provide some of the services as part of their tuition. That would alleviate payroll costs and the like for the majority of the routine services and administrative functions on campus. It would provide real-life work experience to the students. It would reduce overhead and leave more of the college's gross receipts for paying bills and professors' salaries.

Faculty, staff, and students need to realize that colleges are businesses. They provide goods and services for appropriate compensation. If they want "free education", they will get one that is worth exactly what they paid for it.

Like other businesses, should the colleges mismanage their funds and fail to employ a working business model, they will fail. They should not seek government bailouts or taxpayer money to allay their failure, especially when their failure is, in part, due to defrauding taxpayers.