According to the New York Times, student loan default rates have risen sharply this year, another sign that the future of higher education is in question. Each month it is becoming increasingly obvious that the current way of doing things is completely unsustainable.

Unfortunately, this sort of news will likely push more and more people away from the good parts of the traditional model and towards easy technological quick-fixes: lower-cost online degree programs.

At for-profit schools, 15% of students are defaulting within just 2 years! 15%!

At first, student loans were introduced because students could no longer afford to pay for college. Now they can’t afford to not pay, even borrowing has become too expensive.

While some programs, like medical school, understandably require substantial investment, the average college student should not be required to finance their degrees with debts. Especially considering that, more than ever, the value of those degrees is questionable.

We must work towards a simpler model of higher education in which the economics are realistic. The student investment of time and money must be well spent; it sets the course for the rest of their life. The average college experience must be affordable for students out-of-pocket, regardless of subsidy, and it must engage them with the work of life.