The University of Illinois tells us that enrollment for the fall term at its Urbana campus is nearly 43,400 students, the most in the school's history, thanks in part to the second-largest number ever of incoming freshmen.
That’s progress for the university. Whether it will mean progress for all those freshmen is another question, writes Thomas Frank in The Baffler. The typical freshman brings to college choice “about the same amount of guile that, a few years earlier, he brought to Santa’s lap in the happy holiday shopping center.” He ends up with a tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt, a degree of diminishing utility and an education of almost no utility at all.
Frank’s case against predatory higher education is overstated for effect, as any good polemic must be, but worth reading.