Adrian College in Michigan is guaranteeing their education, if you don't make at least $37,000/year after graduation. Huh. I occasionally have heard of things like that. One college allowed you to take additional courses for free to make yourself more marketable or to reinvent yourself.
In this case, Adrian bought an insurance policy.
College President Jeffrey Docking said in an interview that the college took out an insurance plan on all of the school’s incoming Freshmen that will pay all or part of the student loans for any who make less than the $37K benchmark after graduation.Of course the article doesn't mention the most salient point -- what does it cost to go to Adrian College. For that, I Googled "tuition at Adrian college" and the first hit was on the college's financial aid page:
The plan requires that students work at least 30 hours per week after they leave school. Graduates earning less than $20K per year will have all of their loans paid while those making between $20-$37K will have their loans paid on a sliding scale...
At a cost of $550,000, the school needed to bring in thirty new students for the program to work. Docking said they’ve brought in fifty new students, a fantastic return on the investment.
Undergraduate 2014-15 Total Costs Full-time Tuition (12-17 credits) $31,870 Technology Fee $400 Activity Fee $200 Double Room $4,680 14-meal Plan $5,060 Facilities Fee $190 Total Charges for Tuition, Fees, Room, and Board $42,400Over four years that's $169,600, though I don't know how many get loans for the full ride. And excluding interest, over say twenty years, that works out to repaying $8480/year. That's 23% of a $37,000/year income -- so it's not quite the panacea at first blush, but it's a start.
We need to have a real dialogue about college costs. Just getting rid of Pell grants and sending people to much higher interest rate private bank loans than Mrs. Dr. Phil and I had 30-35 years ago, isn't the answer. And state schools are much more expensive than they used to be.
Should everyone go to college? No. But we have also decimated job training, trade schools and apprenticeships, so the path to becoming a productive taxpaying and consumer buying member of society, supposedly what the same people cutting support want, is equally difficult.
When we start considering our youth in the country as a valuable resource, like copper, packages of widgets or AA Wall Street bonds, then maybe we'll do a better job of investing in this resource for the future.
Until then, at least Adrian College is making a start.