In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call I review a new book by Rutgers professor Jackson Toby, The Lowering of Higher Education in America.

Toby makes much the same case I have been making — that we’ve badly oversold higher education by making it easy (and seemingly imperative) for just about anyone who graduates from high school to go to college. The change he advocates is to make the federal college loan system meritocratic. Instead of blindly promoting “access” (as the feds did with home ownership), Toby favors making eligibility for federal loans depend on demonstrated academic ability.

I’d rather get the federal government out of college lending (and all of education) completely, but I like the step Toby would take. I also like that he says a lot of things of the “emperor is wearing no clothes” sort that need to be said.