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I'm assuming you are talking about the higher education system in the U.S., and the perceived problems are cost, quality, and value of a college education.

There's not much in the way of actual, step-by-step policy suggestions I can make, but here are a few directions that could be worth pursuing:

  • Make it a viable alternative not to go to college. If necessary, incentivize -- or force -- employers not to demand a bachelor's degree for everything and to evaluate employees through tasks that test relevant job skills, instead of looking for a signal of the ability to jump through institutional hoops. Establish more trade schools or apprenticeship programs and incentivize people to seek out blue-collar jobs. Interfere as necessary in the job market to boost domestic demand for skilled labor. (Obviously this has implications for the price levels of locally-produced goods; as well as that, I gather that free trade seems to be the policy most favored by economists.) Honestly, many people who pursue a college education have no business being there, they don't like it, they are not meant for it, the job market doesn't need their contributions in that field, and the students themselves are the ones that come to suffer the most for it (student debt, etc.). This should drive the cost of college down, by virtue of supply and demand.

  • Stop encouraging people to borrow serious money in order to afford college. I don't know what is with your nation and living beyond your means; not financially ruining young people from the get-go should be a priority. If you want to do something for poorer students, pay a percentage of their tuition cost in direct proportion to their grades; a perfect GPA means free college.

  • No-nonsense admission process -- this means (hard) admission exams, high school grades, and other indicators of high academic performance. Sports performance and volunteering at soup kitchens -- congratulations, I guess, but that's fluff.

  • Ensure college applicants (i.e. kids freshly out of high school) are better-prepared. Stuff higher-level info into the last couple of high school years, while lowering the passing performance requirements a tad. I initially thought American high school was a breeze, until I found out what a C grade means. Exposure to more advanced info might turn out more useful than nigh-perfect knowledge of the basics.

  • Promote STEM more and, for chrissakes, stop with the bullshit majors.






  • Generally, I like your agenda, but disagree with forcing employers to ignore educational credentials. I think you are right that not everyone needs to go to college, but when the college degree is so watered down by everyone going to college, the signal is quite stark if you don't. Reducing the number of people going to college -- especially for your "bullshit majors" -- would have that effect, without impairing the fundamental liberty of employers to decide with whom they want to associate.
    63%
    MaximumLiberty
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    If you want to do something for poorer students, pay a percentage of their tuition cost in direct proportion to their grades; a perfect GPA means free college.


    This will cause GPAs to be subject to Goodhart's law even more than it is now. And GPA has flaws even without it; imagine a poor person being forced to choose between taking an easy class and certainly being able to afford college, or taking a class in which he can learn, and risking not getting an A and having to pay more for college. You can try to fix this by counting harder class more, but that can result in a situation where a student who takes a non-high-tier class and gets an A in it reduces his GPA by doing so.

    Not to mention the possibility that a poor person got a bad GPA for external reasons related to poverty. Going hungry, being homeless, or not having an intact family, for instance, can hurt GPA
    75%
    Jiro
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