The latest free college tuition proposal

Opinions or comments?

Edited thread title

I would like to see every state have a program equivalent to Hope in GA. I don’t know what Hillary plans are but if you are going to do something about college cost you should model it after a program that is already working.

Straight from the source:

But it is short on the details of how it will be paid for or how incentives will be designed for the various players (states, state schools, students). It does say that students would be expected to work 10 hours per week (a common expectation in current financial aid offers at good-financial-aid schools). Note also that “tuition” does not include all of the cost of attendance of college.

Then again, perhaps it is just a wish to turn back the clock to the 1950s-1970s, when state universities and community colleges had trivial tuition for in-state students. But that was when states willingly budgeted funding for state universities and community colleges as longer term investments, on the rationale that a better educated state population will mean a bigger economy (and more tax revenue) in the future. Now, states can only look at the short term as they lurch from one budget crisis to another.

“Tuition” also does not necessarily include all tuition. For example, financial aid “full time” is 12 credits. It’s tough to graduate in 4 years with 12 credits/semester. If the free tuition is 12 credits, most students will end up still paying for the additional credits.

I cringe any time I see “free” from the government. It is rarely free … and it comes with strings attached. Rules that are hard to understand, regulations that put up huge hoops for schools to jump through. I predict a lot of pressure for schools to make sure students “succeed” … which, unfortunately, will most likely translate into “pass everyone.” Sorry to seem so jaded, but I have dealt with government rules & regulations long enough that they scare me.

Is she promising a unicorn for everyone too?

It says it is aimed at attracting voters in the 18-21 age group. By the time this would get going, those 18 year olds would be graduating. The only way they can benefit is to run up student loans and hope the program forgives them. Even refinancing just extends the time to repay.

If there were ever such a program that every state had schools where the tuition was free to their residents, would we then feel no sympathy, give no debt relief for those who still run up loans for private schools or OOS publics? We all know there are still going to be those who HAVE to go to NYU no matter what the cost, who don’t think Rutgers is the right fit or that UConn has the exact right major and therefor must go to Michigan. Should we care that those who made a choice not to go to a cheaper school still have $50k in debt?

And some public colleges were free for in-state/local residents.

The CUNY system for instance was free tuition for city residents up until 1975 when a combination of poorly conceived and implemented open admission policy in 1969 combined with the economic crisis in NYC/state meant free tuition had to end. Moreover, before 1969, CCNY/CUNY was free for city residents and academically elite in its own right. In fact, its academic status was such that many private colleges including NYU were regarded as institutions for CCNY/CUNY rejects back then according to several older neighbors who were the rejects.

There is something wrong with the current system, which IMO further separates the gap between the wealthy and the middle class, or even the middle class vs. the poor.

My generation will be stuck with having to pay for the programs that my grandparents generation benefitted from, and what my parents got. But my generation is called the coddled, spoiled generation that expects everything handed to us. Our grandparents and parents thinks we all just want a participation trophy.

It seems to me that too many talented hardworking young people do not have the same opportunities that our parents and grandparents had. College is no longer an affordable option for those of us who want to work our way through. We will end up saddled in crippling debt before we graduate, and there may not be many jobs waiting for us.

My generation won’t accept the status quo.

I applaud Hillary for coming closer to Bernie’s position, this is a step in the right direction, but I fear this is only posturing, and with the republican controlled congress this doesn’t have a prayer even when she is elected.

Two things:

  1. Where will the money come from to pay for this?

  2. You do know that every member of the U.S. House and one third of U.S. senators are up for reelection in November, right? There’s a chance that the next congress won’t be so Republican controlled.

My generation will be stuck with having to pay for the programs that my grandparents generation benefitted from, and what my parents got.

Wow, I don’t recall that my generation “got” anything. My parents could not afford to send us to school. My oldest brother worked on the line for an automaker & paid for school - he went part time. Two brothers & I went to a co-op school so we could work to pay for school - we would have preferred another school to the one we attended, but we did it because we could afford it.

College was never for everyone back in the day. Only some got to go.

Three guesses where the money will come from!

Yeah, just give out “free” college. It’s as simple as that.

We need free tuition, free housing, free food, free books, free supplies, free computers, free tablets, free booze, free birth control, free abortions, free medical, free dental, free parking, free transportation, free program fees, free entertainment, and, most importantly, free from all logically sensible viewpoints that don’t totally jive with their own insulated pre-existing perspective.

Who the hell is going to pay for all this? I know… productive working citizens and retirees on fixed-income pension plans.

On top of that, what happens to tuition inflation once price sensitivity considerations are banished from the equation? Now that public college tuition is a perfectly inelastic good, paid for by the federal government apparently irrespective of price, why not start inflating tuition at 10%/20%/30%/etc. per year instead of 4%? The government – i.e., taxpayer – pays for it either way.

It’s an absolute joke and nothing more than another rhetorical conceit to appeal to unsophisticated voters who might buy into yet another gibberish Santa Claus proposal. The economic inanity of it is completely absurd for a country coming up on $21 trillion in debt. It’s not “free” college. It’s “paid for by somebody else” college.

Nothing is free. Someone will pay - and it is the working class citizens. I guess if I quit my job then we will qualify for free tuition for our children. More for working less – sounds good to me.

Other countries manage to have free tuition. We, too, had free or low tuition even recently.
It’s not exactly “free college - it means, if you stay instate and your family is middle class, you will only have to pay for room, board, fees, and books, and if your family is poor you’ll either attend a local school or a local community college but you will no longer be in debt, with your life on hold.
Most importantly the narrative will change from " it’s normal to have lots of loans " to " if you’re a good student you can go to college -your education depends on your hard work, not your parents 'bank account or foolish agreement to cosigned loans”.
Students in NJ, PA, IL will likely welcome the initiative because even if their family makes 50k their public flagship will cost them close to 30k - which family could afford this and not starve ?
People in Georgia - not the most liberal state - can be an example about how it’s done.
Florida used to be an example but now they’ve restricted their program and 80% Floridians no longer have access.
Will there be strings attached ? Certainly, as it should be: possibilities I can think of: free tuition if you met certain academic criteria (NCAA ?)? Tuition paid to the public 4y college you got into if you spend the first two years at a CC that’ll be well funded by the state ? 6-year graduation requirements for the colleges to qualify ? No for-profits ? Federal/state partnerships with possibly an option put clause? Perhaps not quite free, but on a sliding scale depending on income ? Low costs based on a percentage middle class household incomes in the state ?
And, sure it’s not “free”. But there are few better investments than educated young people who will contribute to the life, dynamics, desirability, competitiveness, and economy of a state, first because a college graduate “pays off” through higher taxes and a higher salary than a college dropout which means more discretionary income IE., more purchases, and second because all that money that won’t go into the loan repayment will go into the many things young people need/want to buy, also good for the local economy. So, win-win.
Of qll the things we can decide, as a state or as nation, to invest in, that’d be a logical, common-sense investment with high ROI.

@kelsmom : I think the student means that, in our day, it was possible to pay our 4-year public college tuition+r&b with a part time job. Nowadays that’s impossible. If costs for a 4-year college could be handled without loans again, I think our economy would be that much better.

As to the poster who spoke about NYU, just a reminder we’re talking about public universities, for which residents have paid taxes which their state is then supposed to appropriate for the higher education of their children, and who end up having to send their kids elsewhere because they can’t afford tj state flagship where they were admitted.
(to me, nothing epitomizes better the fact the Coalition App is using novlang, than the fact they claim affordability is required to be a member, and Penn State is on their list.)

Yes, a generation ago, a new high school graduate could be reasonably self-supporting on his/her own with a high school graduate job, and have some money left over to pay tuition and books at the nearby public university (perhaps with a small student loan, not a huge one or one which needed a cosigner).

These days, doing so is much more difficult without any parental support (including living at the parents’ place).

  1. US taxpayers. Top 1% again?
  2. Borrow from China
  3. ?

3 Middle class Americans

If today’s high school seniors were to tour virtually any college campus in America as it was in 1975 they would not likely apply there. No climbing walls, high tech consisted of keypunch rooms in the basement, all dorms double rooms with common lavatories, cafeteria menu consisted of hamburgers, mac and cheese and a mystery meat special. you want the luxuries someone has to pay for them.

@kelsmom : I think the student means that, in our day, it was possible to pay our 4-year public college tuition+r&b with a part time job.

I disagree with this. I went to school in 1978, and I could NOT afford tuition/room/board at my state’s U’s with a part time job. That is why I went where I went … a school with so few frills it’s difficult for most to fathom.

That said, I don’t deny that tuition hikes have greatly outpaced inflation. There are many varied reasons for this. I would love to see tuition reduced to a manageable level. This is a very complex issue, and simply making school free does not address the root causes of high tuition … which, for me, is the real problem.

I’m guessing this refers to things like the GI Bill (college, unemployment and housing), expansion projects like interstate highways and factories built by the gov’t.

In California at the public schools the dorms that used to be double rooms are now triples in the same room. So definitely a downgrade there. The big schools tend to have nice rec centers which I know costs more, but which I also think is a good idea so kids don’t forgo exercise for 4 years. At the UCs I’ve seen the food is better than 1980, but at Cal Poly I would say their situation is not as good as I experienced in college.

Back in the day we didn’t have tuition at the UCs, only about $300/quarter in “fees” (i.e. tuition). Somehow the state was picking up a lot more of the tab than they are now. Not sure what other priorities that money has gone to. Even today, families making under $80K (with asset limits) get free tuition at the UCs, so it’s not exactly revolutionary to think that we could somehow provide a much reduced cost of education.