Tough question, but I think that it is increasingly challenging in America for kids to get a good education especially when it comes to college degrees.
As more and more people realize that a college degree is a key factor in earning potential they increasingly sign up for college degrees. And I do mean sign up, because today you do not have to have great grades and good background, with lots of well rounded extracurricular activities to get into a college. With the advent of the for profit education industry in America there is a school for everyone, as long as you can pay the bill. Sounds good, and it really is because it is the democratization of education, a key to a educated and successful populace.
But there is a catch. Unfortunately for America, paying that student's bill usually means some sort of government backed student loan. As demand for higher education has grown, so has the price of admission, and now almost no one can afford to go to any college without government loan assistance.
Why is this unfortunate for America? Because now there is an increasing amount of education loan defaults. These may be the first signs of an education loan bubble bursting, and when it does burst and these loan defaults get out of hand, it will be as devastating as the home loan disaster we just went through.
Cheaper educational institutions may disappear, forced into closing through a combination of less state aide and dropping enrollments. These schools depend heavily on economies of scale, relying on huge numbers of students. When those students now cannot get loans for college they will not be able to pay. At the same time cash strapped governments, federal and state, will be unable to offer the same amount of state funding of education as they recover from the student loan bubble bursting. Closure will then be the only option for many cheaper sources of education.
For the rest of us non students, we will have to face the prospect of another government backed and taxpayer funded bailout of educational institutions and the companies that help facilitate these government student loans. We will also have to witness our children unable to find affordable educational opportunities, and for the first time in America the very real possibility that the next generation will almost certainly be worse off.
I hope none of this happens but if we cannot fix our educational model it is a very real possibility.