Q&A with Inside Higher Ed Magazine co-founder Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik the editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed magazine. He has been quoted regularly in publications nations wide and has published articles in publications that include the The New York Times and the Boston Globe. Jaschik answered questions about higher education issues ranging from the benefits on of attending college online to how the housing market can effect college attendance.


Are programs like the ROTC still a good option to use to help fund higher education?

ROTC is an easier sell if you are not afraid of going to Afghanistan. A lot of people see giving a few years to military after college as a good way to be debt free upon graduation. Now that the possibility of going to war has decreased peoples interest in the program has decreased.


How has the country’s rise in foreclosure affected retention rates for college enrollment and retention?

Families in poverty rent affected but middle and upper middle class families ,who can afford a home, are. Historically a way for many families to pay for college was to take out a second mortgage around the time the children were preparing to attend college. If your house is “underwater” or foreclosed or you haven’t been able to make enough of a dent in your debt then that option is not available. So home equity has been a huge source of income for higher education. There were a lot of working class and middle class families that were able to take advantage of this have been hurt due economic downturn and the value of homes decreasing across the country.


More and more college students are graduating with large amounts of Debt what is borrowing money to pay for school a decision.

Sometimes borrowing can be smart, If you are in a nursing program or any program that has high career placement after college, then go ahead borrow, enroll full time ,graduate, work full time and pay it back. The mistake people make is they borrow a lot of money, take one course a semester, and in most cases they drop out and will have debt and no degree. There are many misconceptions about borrowing sometimes people say they hear “ borrowing is terrible you never want to borrow”, but they may miss an opportunity to advance themselves. Borrowing too much or borrowing if you don’t have a good chance of getting a career that’s a problem. If borrowing is what determines if a student can enroll full time then it is the best thing to do especially for low in come minorities. Particularly for low income first time generation students if they can borrow and enroll full-time their odds of completing are very high. Many people are hear a lot of horror stories about borrowing, but many don’t realize it all depends on where you go. For example if you go to a community college you’re not going to have 50 thousand dollars in debt.

Could you explain the differences between Federal and Private Loans?

Federal versus Private Loans is a huge issue. Federal loans have a lot of protections for example if you go to grad school or experience severe health problems you can defer repayment. Worst case scenario if you died your parents aren’t stuck with the bill Federal Loans are heavily protected. Pretty much no protections exist for private loans. Many people do know the differences between them are so great. Im not saying that private loans are aren’t a good option for everyone because each person has their own family and financial circumstances, but people need to understand the level of risk with each and most don’t. The best places to look are the Education Department’s website and our websiteinsidehighered.com

What are benefits that can be obtained from online Education?

One myth in the mainstream media that is minorities are not active online and this is not true. Online education creates a lot of interesting opportunities for all kinds of students to study with to students near and far, study courses they might not have access. The vulnerable person and most of the times it will be a minority, who doesn’t have a trusted advisor to explain options people can make the the wrong decisions. Online education is similar to what I said about about loans, students need to be savvy “consumers” when it comes to online education.

What would be a good major for someone who knows they want to go college, but is not sure of what pursue?

I believe in the liberal arts education. I studied history and never took a journalism class in my life. I believe that to be successful, in Journalism, Business and many other fields I believe people need to know history and have an understanding of literature. Of course health and business related areas are also ways good areas, but I believe that with a liberal artist general education and lot of internships would be a good path to a career. Also foreign languages are always great to pursue along with studies


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