The ugly truth about college: It's not worth going into debt

Which brings me to some suggestions inspired by Washington University law professor Brian Tamanaha in his new book, “Failing Law Schools.”

For starters, he’d apply “gainful employment” rules to all schools, where now there’s talk only of imposing them on for-profit colleges. Basically, if too many of its graduates are in default on their loans (or using the “income-based repayment” safety net), a school would lose eligibility for further student loans.

If you’re not educating your students well enough to let them pay off their loans, maybe you shouldn’t be taking their money.

Alternately, cap the total amount of student-loan money available per school. Right now, the more a school charges, the more student-loan cash is available. Students take on massive debt, but the school gets its money up-front, risk-free. Tamanaha would limit the amount available to the schools, giving them an incentive to keep tuition down.