A case for free tuition...?
Sharing a piece from the Atlantic which makes a case for free tuition, albeit at state schools. Read the article here.
The recession, rising tuition costs and debt have all created a vicious cycle resulting in trillions of dollars in debt and rising delinquency rates. Moreover, the continued low interest lending has not helped rising tuition rates.. laments we have heard time and again. This article proposes a solution to make college education affordable and debt-free and I think it brings up some interesting points.
Quoting from the article,
With what the federal government spent on its various and sundry student aid initiatives last year, it could have covered the tuition bill of every student at every public college in the country. Doing so might have required cutting off financial aid at Yale, Amherst, the University of Phoenix, and every other private university. But at this point, that might be a trade worth considering.
It puts forth the following points to make its case:
1. Students going to state schools, including Undergraduate and graduate students spent less than $60 billion in 2012, whereas Washington spent $77 billion in aid through tax breaks and grants.
With the money that's either going to private colleges, or being paid to the public sector in a roundabout way via tax breaks, we could probably make tuition at public institutions -- which educate about 76 percent of American undergrads -- either free, or ridiculously cheap.
2. Instead of providing low cost loans, grants and tax breaks, it suggests passing the cash to states, with attached conditions for maintaining a per-student funding and lowering tuition rates at colleges. “The goal would be to bring down the cost of school dramatically across the board, but while using progressive tuition levels so the poorest students paid nothing, while upper-middle-class and wealthy students paid a few thousand dollars each.”
3. Ofcourse this would mean chopping off Pell Grants and tax breaks for students of private schools. The article makes a case for this by arguing that,
Top colleges might simply increase their financial aid. And beyond that, those students would still have loans available. And going into a bit more debt for an elite education, and the professional network that comes with it, would probably still pay off.
What do you think, wishful thinking or an idea worth considering?