We used to collectively fund colleges via taxes because we thought higher education was a public good worth subsidizing heavily. Now we put almost the entire burden on individual students and—if they’re lucky—their parents.

When even our so-called financial literacy experts can’t figure that out, it’s worth questioning their entire enterprise.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.