The Great Recession has put a lot of people out of work and has taken a huge bite out of the value of pretty much everybody’s real property values. It bankrupted some historic companies, too, including Lehman Brothers and General Motors.
Education is a sector of the economy — a pretty large sector — that has managed to survive the malaise mostly unscathed. American colleges have been able to hang on, virtually en masse, with the tenacity of cockroaches — thanks in no small part to federal largesse in the form of Pell Grants and subsidized student loans.
That’s sad, really, because many public and private colleges and universities are delivering a sloppy, unfinished product. The 2011 “Pathway to Prosperity” study conducted by Harvard University found that only 56 percent of students complete four-year programs in fewer than six years.
Graduation rates don’t always accurately reflect the dropout rate. Some students don’t graduate because they leave at the first opportunity for better schools, for example. Also, students who obtain two-year degrees get missed in any four-year graduation count.
Still, way too many public and private nonprofit schools produce deplorable results — leaving dropouts on the hook for student loans and with little else, and leaving the government out billions in wasted grant money.
The slideshow below presents some of the worst offenders. Hopefully, your alma mater isn’t on the list. It’s probably not, though, because graduation rates are so low.
Eva Cover helped put this slideshow together.
SEE THE SLIDESHOW: