Monday, March 11, 2013

Paying for college

The Atlantic has published a bombshell piece titled "How Washington Could Make College Tuition Free (Without Spending a Penny More on Education)." Excerpts:
Here's a little known fact: 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.
With the money that's either going to private colleges, or 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.
That's just a taste; you really need to read the whole thing. Afterward, check out this goody: If you go to a UC college, the tuition you're paying is nearly double the actual cost of your education.
The mandatory fee level for resident undergraduate students was $13,181, which is nearly twice what it cost the University to provide their education.
Where is the money going? Not to the professors, I can assure you.

At the Cal State universities, which run on a semester system, a teacher earns about $2000 per class. Few teachers can handle more than two or three classes per semester. You do the math. Sure, the money is better on the UC level -- but when you consider that the teachers themselves probably have huge student loans to repay, it's clear that academia is not a way to get rich.

In fact, some profs are homeless.
Jason’s story is important for students to hear because it illustrates how tuition hikes and fee increases don’t go to the faculty.

“Professors are hurting too,” he said. “It might be a shock for students, but a lot of times they have better healthcare than the people teaching them. I take responsibility for my situation, but I am disappointed with the state and the state of things.”
Once again: Where is the money going?

Did you know that students attending Jerry Falwell's Liberty University receive financial aid guaranteed by the very same gummint that most Southern Baptists demonize? And quite a lucrative racket it is...
Liberty’s expansion has yielded a river of money. The university ended 2012 with more than $1 billion in net assets for the first time, counting cash, property, investments and other holdings. That is 10 times what the school had in 2006, putting Liberty in the same financial league as universities such as Pepperdine, Georgetown and Tulane.
Federal loans and grants make it all possible.

Just think: If we stopped subsidizing private institutions of dubiously "higher" learning designed by religious maniacs, students could attend community colleges and state universities for much, much less than they pay now.
If we had real Democrats instead of what we're saddled with ...
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