The High Cost of ‘Free’ College Tuition
In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, we’ve heard several proposals offering free college tuition for all, and loan forgiveness for those still carrying debt.
While proponents call these proposals “investments in our future,” the reality is they would be a suffocating financial burden on every taxpayer, but especially on middle- and lower-income citizens.
There’s an inherent unfairness to forcing many working-class Americans who couldn’t afford to go to college themselves to pay off the loans of those who could.
Requiring a family making $50,000 a year to pay off the college debts of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even some members of Congress who make $174,000 a year is unconscionable.
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Moreover, how fair is it for those who did go to college and worked hard to pay off their loans to then be forced to pay off everyone else’s?
What would the American people be paying for with all this “investment”? As a former university dean, someone who has been involved in education policy for decades, and as a parent and grandparent, I’ve seen firsthand everything from the decline in educational quality to the toll of massive college debt on students and their families.
American colleges and universities are failing in one of their most basic missions: to equip students with the tools they need for a career. Many students graduate ill-prepared to earn a living and pay off the enormous debt they accumulated getting their degrees.
Forty percent of those who start college don’t even finish within six years.
Despite these systemic issues, colleges continue to raise tuition. Because federal loan money is handed out with little scrutiny as to the student’s ability to pay it back, colleges have had free rein to raise prices at rates often double the inflation rate.