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Monday, June 2, 2008

Money's too tight to mention in La Grande

The nation's credit crisis -- which has retreated under the radar for a while -- is having some nasty effects on student loans. Some lenders are nixing off students at community colleges, and other smaller institutions of higher learning, entirely -- including Eastern Oregon University, which got an unwelcome mention about this in a front-page story in this morning's New York Times.

Comments (2)

Okay... I'm not advocating anything, but just to raise the debate...

In the current economic climate, have schools like EOU or SOU (I still call it SOC) or WOU (I still call it WOSC) run their legitimate purpose for a time? Are they no more or less than junior colleges serving up associate degrees? Should their budgets and programs be cut just to accomodate certain in-demand programs like nursing or computer science?

As a manager who hires people, I would still give preference to a guy who has a BS from Eastern Oregon University than someone from DeVry or Univ of Phoenix. No offense, but that seems to be the prevailing attitude. However, I still look at the major public schools as the sources of top talent.

That said, I have a president of my nation who has a masters from Harvard who I am doing everything in power to get rid of. And a VP from Princeton who I feel the same way about.

This isn't a question about the legitimacy of the school or it's programs. It's a question about whether a private lender issuing federally backed loans has the right to discriminate against the students and the institutions they choose or must attend (because of their geographic, fiscal, etc.. situation).

The answer to the technical question is LEGALLY yes they can discriminate. The answer to the question about whether they SHOULD discriminate...now that is the real issue.

The federal government was TECHNICALLY legal (by the laws of the day) to discriminate against blacks in the south... but should they have - no. Were the laws wrong - yes.

I feel the answer is the same for students.

(...and yes I know it's a stretch to compare the situations of blacks and students but if you're a poor(er) farm kid in eastern Oregon and the only place you can go is EOU then you need a way to pay. Otherwise it can lead to education discrimination and that is against the law.)

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