Media Madness: More Panicky Reporting on College BorrowingPosted on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 19:04
There was more panicky reporting on the subject of student debt last week in the New York Times article, A Generation Hobbled By the Soaring Cost of College, an installation in the newspaper’s Degrees of Debt series that purports to examine the implications of soaring college costs and the indebtedness of students and their families.
As Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson of the Chronicle of Higher Education report: The New York Times made a huge statistical error in their overwrought article about higher education borrowing on Sunday. They reported that 94 percent of bachelor’s graduates leave college with educational debt. The correct number is around two-thirds. Few people will see the correction tucked into Wednesday’s Times – certainly not nearly the number who saw the lead sentence on the web version “Nearly everyone pursuing a bachelor’s degree is borrowing money …”.