For most of the 20th century, higher education wasn’t treated as a cash cow, and students were better off for it.
Consider: Thousands of college students recently had their school loans forgiven by the federal government. Few are celebrating, though. Washington stepped in to relieve studentsfrom paying a for-profit college that had defrauded them.
Corinthian Colleges, a chain of private universities, had been the target of class-action lawsuits and government investigations since 2004. It went bankrupt in May, not long after the U.S. Department of Education fined the company almost $30 million for lying to students about job-placement rates.
But that’s just one settlement. We need a systematic approach to tackle the student-debt crisis. We can easily find one if we look in the not-too-distant past.