Columbia University launches 3-year JD/MBA program

I’ve posted before on the ROI of certain US graduate tracks given unbounded US higher education costs. Issues include disingenuous marketing campaigns by graduate schools, graduates’ oversupply and shrinking slots of high paying jobs that permit repaying unprecedented student loan debt. US student loan debt of $830 billion recently surpassed that of US credit cards.

Columbia’s new package found here is the clearest evidence yet that some academic programs, most notably law, are structurally overvalued. They take too long and cost too much. This is aside from oversupply issues. And longterm returns on investment have trended questionable.

That a supplier of this tier of graduate education–US News’ 4th ranked law school and 9th ranked B-school–is effectively restating the value of two of academia’s’ most revenue-generating and sought after credentials is historic. In New York and the northeast Columbia sits in a competitive and crowded higher ed neighborhood and its differentiation should particularly reverberate. There’s no mandate for a 3-year legal program per the ABA’s own Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools. Columbia and the ABA know its bar passage rate and practitioner preparedness will be fine with 2 years of training. 200 199 ABA-approved US law schools may have just gone to the potty on themselves. Business schools are surely doing a double take too. And rightly.

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