Britain’s grammar school plan gets 5 out of 10

September 9, 2016

Reintroducing selective schools won't necessarily fix the UK's two big problems: too-high inequality and too-low productivity. It fits, though, with an emerging trend of the state picking winners. Whether that works depends on the success of safeguards to protect the losers.

Britain was lost on the playing fields of Eton

June 27, 2016

The school’s alumni include outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron and Boris Johnson, who hopes to replace him. The Duke of Wellington supposedly attributed his victory at Waterloo to an Eton education. Cameron’s folly in calling an EU referendum suggests less desirable aspects.

M&A world could teach niche U.S. colleges

March 16, 2015

The collapse of liberal arts enclave Sweet Briar is bad news for cash-strapped schools across the country. Sagging enrollment has pushed some institutions to offer debt-shy students big discounts on tuition. But that risks a spiral. Merging may be one way to ease the pressure.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

February 27, 2015

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

June 11, 2014

Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

Harvard could get smarter about its endowment

June 12, 2014

Jane Mendillo, who ran the Ivy League university’s $33 bln portfolio for six years, is leaving. Predecessor Mohamed El-Erian is partly to blame for crisis losses, but Harvard overpaid for mediocre returns. Less of both Yale model investing and Wall Street pay may be in order.

Greedy law schools taught jobless grads too well

March 16, 2012

Disgruntled lawyers are suing their alma maters for exaggerating employment prospects. That seems fitting for a litigious lot with buyers’ remorse over a $120,000 education. A lousy job market isn’t the schools’ fault, but training these cheeky legal eagles may be.

Student debt may land double whammy on US growth

March 21, 2012

Graduates are forking over far more in loan repayments than a decade ago, easily outstripping salary growth. Over time, that’ll dent GDP. Defaults are rising, too. With Uncle Sam now holding $450 bln of student debt and rising, that puts taxpayers on the hook - again.

Law school deans could do with some Econ 101

April 17, 2012

Tuition at the likes of Yale and Stanford keeps rising faster than inflation, despite fewer aspiring lawyers in the United States. And job prospects for graduates are getting worse. Despite their advanced skills, legal educators haven’t yet mastered the law of supply and demand.

U.S. mortgage lessons lost in student debt policy

April 30, 2012

Lawmakers are close to making the same mistake on college loans they did with housing. When government subsidies help send prices soaring, borrowers should be restrained. To curb the crazy growth of higher education costs demands less, not more, of Uncle Sam’s involvement.