Economics Professor Says the Financial Crisis in Higher Education Hurts All of Us

By IC News staff, November 13, 2020
Jennifer Tennant writes op-ed on why the sector deserves a bailout.

Ithaca College associate professor of economics Jennifer Tennant states why higher education deserves a major industry bailout in an opinion piece she co-authored with Caroline Levine, Ryan Professor of the Humanities at Cornell University. The piece in Inside Higher Ed, a website that covers higher education news, explains why college costs so much…and why it’s worth it.

Those who graduate with bachelor’s degrees have double the lifetime earnings of those with high school diplomas. And it’s not just the students that benefit.

“Across the nation, local communities depend on colleges for their economic well-being...lively college towns draw restaurants, rental profits, arts organizations and retirees. Start-up companies looking for highly skilled labor come to college towns.”

 “A smart national investment now can keep struggling colleges open across the country, save local businesses, support kids who are fighting to make it into the middle class and train a globally competitive workforce.”

The authors reference the auto industry bailout that followed the recession in 2008, and how it benefited both workers, consumers and the economy. They also contrasted higher education with the airline industry, which employs far fewer people and received $11 million more in coronavirus relief.

“The crisis in higher education hurts all of us. And there’s one clear solution: a major industry bailout. This is the perfect time, as the country needs smart stimulus plans to get the economy going.”