This issue was the subject of a discussion I had with several colleagues.
Here's how the system works.
Lets go back to the 1960s-1970s. Most colleges and universities had admission standards that allowed them to use some selectivity when admitting a new class. Some public institutions had open admissions but the public generally refrained from going to college if they did not have the basic skills or interest to pursue a higher degree. There was a general perception that one could earn a living without a degree and that vocational training was a better idea for many people.
Throughout the 1980's, student academic abilities declined to the point where many HS graduates no longer had the skills and abilities that the previous generation had acquired. In addition, the economy for non-technical/non-degree labor shrank leaving many young people with the impression that they had to go to college to get a good job.
The problem was that many of these 18yo lack the skills to function at the college level. Many public college systems tried to pressure secondary schools to provide further remedial education before issuing a high school diploma.
By the early 90's, many colleges capitulated and began offering remedial courses in math and english. Institutions wanted the tuition dollars so they admitted individuals who had little chance of ever graduating.
Student loans became a method of funneling money, with federal support, to colleges and universities.
The problem became that the graduation rates began to drop with the surge in student loans. More and more students were being "seduced" into pursuing degrees that they would never complete. The seduction was students loans that could be used for tuition plus cars, beer and general living expenses.
By the late 1990's the problem had become malignant at all levels. Default rates on student loans had skyrocketed, graduation rates had plummeted.
Now things got really crazy. Colleges and universities discovered that the failure rate for remedial classes was higher than for regular college offerings! So students were literally throwing away thousands of dollars BEFORE they even got to to take courses in their major area of study.
How did colleges react to this data? Well they now established remedial courses....for the remedial courses!! I am not kidding. Now students get to take pre-pre english courses before taking actual english courses.
Of course this was yet another way for institutions to get access to that student loan revenue stream. If anyone raised an objection to this money scheme you would be attacked as anti-poor or anti-education.
So let me illustrate with UT data. The dropout rate at UT for some selected groups is 95%. I have the internal data. 95/100 students from selected sub-cultural groups drop out with any degree or certificate.
These students were told to come to university, we will get you setup with loans, you can pursue a degree. Of course they do not mention that academically you have little or no chance of getting that degree.
Colleges and universities have adopted a "community center" model of education. We provide for your psychological support and give you a life purpose. It is bullsh@t but that is the contemporary marketing model.
95% end up with no degree, 1-2 years of failure and thousands of dollars in debt.
Owens runs the same scam. Spend $20,000 on an associates degree in business. ???. Say what? How about the students with $20,000 of debt with no degree, they were already poor...now their future is bleak.
Unless the institution is elite, this sort of laundering higher ed scam is everywhere.
Step 1: Admit students without skills to complete degree
Step 2: load them up with loans that get funneled to your institution
Step 3: Put them in remedial classes that suck up their money early and fast
Step 4: Students find they are over their head and failing. The college delays the inevitable by providing all sorts of remedial services. This allows for more cash being rung out of the student before the hammer falls and they just walk away.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat.
The fellow on this thread is not in this position but he is an example of the next type of exploitation. Student is skilled but is provided a degree with limited value in the real marketplace. You have 5 children and need to put food on the table, this sort of expense is absurd to end up with an associated degree.
But the siren song of higher ed is enticing and sucks everyone in...funded by student loans.
I can tell you the panic has set in. The default rates are so high, graduation rates so low, the capable student pool so low that colleges have instituted dog and pony shows to get and keep student bodies. The dog and pony shows cost money, costs rise, loans rise, cultural illiteracy rises.