Do you think college should be free?

Do you think college should be free?

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Only if it’s useless.


Or highly subsidized.

Forcing young people to start their lives mired in debt is a travesty.


It’s never free. All that changes is how it’s paid for.


It should cost less. The cost benefit of it is currently questionable.

Perhaps more industries should implement standards and certifications for various trades that do not include the irrelevant stuff (wrt one’s career).


Sure why not.
And as long as it’s free it ought to be retroactively free with interest, cause I paid every dime of my loans with hard earned money.
And if not, I claim the right to reparations for discrimination.


NO but it should not put somebody in debt for many years or for life. A lot of the things required in college are really not necessary for the area of study someone is going into. There should be some kind of way to lower the cost dramatically, still having those attending pay but just be a whole lot more reasonable.


The whole system of higher education needs to be re-thought. There is no excuse for us allowing education to spiral out of reach of all but the rich, or those willing to assume a life of debt. Way too much is wasted on that which is not used to educate. Cut out the spending on marble and entertainment to start with. I would rather on university go bankrupt than that they bankrupt 100,000 young men and women.


If it’s free, then it should only be offered to the academic top 10 percent of students. Which will never fly in USA, so I say nope, it shouldn’t be free.

I also think that people value education more if it costs money.

Having said that, I do think that many colleges and many degree programs do not provide good value for money, and you should think long and hard about whether your expenditure is a wise investment before you spend. I also don’t think students should enter college until they have a good idea what they want to study, a plan for how they will pay for it, and a backup plan for what they will do if the planned course of study doesn’t work out (either doesn’t result in a degree or doesn’t result in a job). And yes, I had a plan A and a plan B in place before entering college at all the colleges I attended. My family wasn’t well off and when I was getting my first degree, my father, the family breadwinner, was very sick, so I would have been irresponsible not to have such a plan.


If there is no co-pay and no merit required to get it, it will become devalued.

I’d rather see scholarships based on societal need for people with some sort of education or other. If you want to join an over-represented profession, figure out how to pay your own way. If you’re willing to invest the time to learn an under-represented profession or trade, I’m fine with society paying for the education to get you to go there.

I do have one solution. There is not real reason why the super-mega-major-university has to still be a thing. All education started that way, but we found that local education works well too. We already have a lot of junior colleges. Ours recently had expanded to several four year bachelor degrees. We might find it a lot cheaper if we devalued the prestige factor in favor of education being more spread and local. At very least it would provide an option for the smarter students who did not want to end up piled with debt.


In an ideal world, yes. In the current world, probably not, unless they can figure out a way to pay faculty, staff, and administrators without charging tuition. Otherwise, we can make it free but the students will have to teach themselves in classrooms even more overcrowded than they are already.

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Or if it felt like a choice more than a requirement.

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Let me start be admitting that I’m a geezer. I was a member of the first freshman class at Cleveland State University in 1965. Tuition was $495 for the year [$165 per quarter, or $11 per credit hour]. Books [new books] cost approximately $50-55 per quarter. One 1965 dollar is now worth about eight dollars…do the math. College was affordable then, and if it’s cost merely kept pace with inflation, it would still be affordable.
[Cleveland State now charges $409.55 per credit hour.]
Should college be free? No, but when tuition increases at a rate more than five times that of inflation, something is wrong…


You should ask do you think we should borrow more money from China to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of College?

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Actually, I took it as asking what kind of college subsidy I would pay taxes to pay for. Training people for work that we are short on people willing to do is a economic investment in people who will be paying taxes and contributing needed work for a lifetime. It is a win-win to give those opportunities to people who couldn’t come up with the money for that opportunity on their own.

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Perhaps we need to take another look at the accreditation process.
If more institutions were able to get accreditation, there would be economic pressure and prices would lower.

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Paying people to teach instead of taking jobs in the private sector has a minimum cost. There is a limit to how much institutional competition will bring the price tag down.

For my last degree:

Tuition: $13,500 per year (and that was a hard-won concession; students entering the year after us paid $16,000)
Ancillary fees: $2,300 per year
Books: $1,000-1,200 per year

In my program, they strongly advised that we NOT work if we wanted to be successful. I advised that my options were work and figure out how to balance or live in my car because my $16,000/year scholarship (the biggest the school offered) was not going to go far on those costs.

Since the days when I was a college student in the 1960’s, there has developed a situation in the college environment that most people not in the profession do not know about. That is the plight of the part-time (adjunct) instructor. Today, part-timers make up about 60-70% of the academic workforce. They are underpaid, have few benefits, if any, relatively poor working conditions, and are often treated as non-entities by full-time instructors and administrators alike. To make ends meet, they often have to teach several (undesirable) courses at times that full-time faculty do not want or so that full-timers can focus on their research, electives, or seminars, and they also teach at more than one college, usually two or three, during the same semester. There is frequently heavy turnover as well. Most have their Master’s degree and are doctoral candidates, while others have their doctorate but cannot obtain a full-time position because college administrators prefer their cheap labor rather than hiring full-time faculty. In sum, the situation is an EDUCATIONAL SCANDAL, which adversely affects students, full-timers, administrators, and the whole system. Making college free would decimate the adjunct faculty as well as some of the full-time faculty in colleges’ efforts to economize without cutting too much into administrators’ salaries.

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