According to the recent film about the blowout, this catastrophe could have been prevented. Instruments on the rig alerted workers that pressure was building around the concrete core and that a blowout was imminent; but supervisors convinced themselves that the instruments were malfunctioning and everything was fine. (John Malkovich, the movie's villain, plays Don Vidrine, a fiendish British Petroleum technocrat.)
|John Malkovich in Deepwater Horizon|
But a coding error led to an erroneous report. As Robert Kelchen, a professor at Seton Hall University explained in a recent blog posting, the picture is much bleaker than DOE portrayed.
Five years into repayment, less than half of student borrowers have made any progress toward paying off their student loans. Among borrowers who attended for-profit colleges, the numbers are even more startling. Five years into repayment only about a third of for-profit students (35 percent) had reduced their loan balances by even one dollar!
People who don't reduce their loan balances five years after beginning repayment are not likely to pay off their student loans--ever. In fact, the Brookings Institution reported in 2015 that nearly half of for-profit borrowers in a recent cohort had defaulted on their loans within 5 years (47 percent).
In short, DOE is behaving just like John Malkovich's character in the movie Deepwater Horizon. The data warn of an impending blowout; but DOE keeps pumping money to the for-profit colleges. A disaster is inevitable; and there are already millions of casualties.
Paul Fain. Feds' data error inflated loan repayment rates on the College Scoreboard. Inside Higher Ed, January 16, 2017.
Robert Kelchen. How Much Did a Coding Error Affect Student Loan Repayment Rates? Kelchen on Education, January 12, 2017.
Adam Looney & Constantine Yannelis, A crisis in student loans? How changes in the characteristics of borrowers and in the institutions they attended contributed to rising default rates. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution (2015).
Michael Stratford. The New College Scorecard. Inside Higher Ed, September 14, 2015.