Chicago State may be in the hot seat right now, but it joins swelling ranks of universities nationally. Famished for enrollment, working to preserve jobs and status, the yoke is transferred to the backs of ill-informed students and families. So much of this is carried out under the smugness of good intentions and opportunity. Toying with people’s dreams, ambitions, aspirations, and money, is dangerous.

Universities must take responsibility for screening students who are borrowing money for college. Tell the truth. Give potential students the odds. “With these high school grades, this test score and class rank, the probability of finishing the degree at this university is 30%. There is a 70% chance that you will have to pay back any loans you take out for school from a high-school graduate’s salary, rather than a college graduate’s salary, and there’s no bankruptcy that will allow you to get away from them.” Then let people make informed decisions.

Mike Riggs, on Reson.com, August 5, 2011 writes, “These subsidies are kind of like propping up the auto industry with cash for clunkers, or the housing industry with cash for first-time buyers,” ... “We have this financial aid system that is keeping the system alive.”