With prestigious degrees, coveted credentials, and a ticket to the top, the golden halo of an elite education seems irresistible. Yet, behind glossy brochures and stately facades, a menacing monopoly lurks in higher ed.
This is the alarming allegation made by Sahaj Sharda, a crusading Columbia Law student determined to smash through ivory towers. In his book The College Cartel, Sahaj rips the lid off the shady inner workings of exclusive institutions. How they hoard mountains of money, yet refuse to add seats. How they strangle competition and bottleneck opportunities for their own gain. Elite colleges wield tremendous power and influence in higher education and the job market, often resorting to unfair practices that stifle competition, ranging from price-fixing to seat hoarding.
Through his thought-provoking book, The College Cartel, author Sahaj Sharda aims to expose the anti-competitive tactics employed by elite colleges. His mission? To ignite a comprehensive restructuring of the higher education market by challenging the legality and fairness of their practices.
According to Sharda, elite colleges have monopolized prestigious signaling and now hoard access to deserving members of the public, all while these same elite colleges gorge themselves on federal taxpayer funds. As a result, elite college revenues soar while access to prestigious higher education becomes increasingly limited. But that’s not all—this cartel of institutions also wields influence over the job market.
In the labor market for young new graduates, the name of the institution on your degree often becomes the deciding factor for employers. The more prestigious the college, the more confident they feel about your qualifications. It’s an unfair system that automatically places graduates from other institutions at a disadvantage, labeling them as “second-class” candidates.
Elite colleges, with their close ties to influential corporations, shape the trends in the job market. However, these colleges purposefully and concurrently keep their acceptance rates incredibly low, excluding many talented students without any reasonable justification. It’s a move that helps elite colleges secure more donations for their endowments and, ultimately, boost their revenues.
Sharda recognizes the challenge of dismantling such an established system. Unless employers adopt alternative metrics for evaluating candidates that are as quick and straightforward as looking at the institution’s name on a degree, the stranglehold of elite colleges on the job market will persist. That is why Sharda advocates for the breakdown of college monopolies. By dismantling the unfair concentration of power in higher education, we can level the playing field for individuals from all walks of life.
To achieve this transformative change, Sharda emphasizes the urgent need for legislative proposals and federal antitrust action to address the unfair practices of elite colleges. He firmly asserts, “We must ensure that education funding truly benefits students and our nation.” Breaking down barriers and fostering healthy competition among colleges is crucial.
Sahaj Sharda’s perspective on the monopoly effect of elite colleges shines a light on the imbalances within the higher education system and their profound impact on the job market. Through his tireless advocacy for reforms and his unwavering commitment to challenge the status quo, he is striving to create a more equitable environment for students and entrepreneurs alike.
Sharda’s work serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of questioning the practices of elite colleges. It compels us all to join the fight for change and actively work towards a brighter future for generations to come. To learn more about Sahaj Sharda and his inspiring work, make sure to follow Sahaj on Twitter.