“free public college might push more students away from small, private universities to what would be a cheaper alternative”
Who could have guessed that a plan like this could backfire?
From USA Today:
Free college plans like Elizabeth Warren’s are pretty pricey. Some say her plan would benefit the rich most
Elizabeth Warren made waves Monday with a sweeping plan to eliminate student debt and make public college almost free to attend.
The goal, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate said, was to provide “universal, free public college.”
But free education doesn’t exist, because educating people costs money. Professors need to be paid, buildings need to be maintained, and degrees need to be printed. Even Warren said her plan would cost $1.2 trillion over the course of 10 years.
Warren’s proposal – along with less-comprehensive free-college plans from other Democrats – isn’t really about providing a free education. Rather, these plans would shift who pays for it: the individual or the government.
And Warren’s plan has drawn criticism from some liberals, who say it would especially benefit the wealthy over poor Americans…
That said, free public college alone wouldn’t hurt for-profits because they offer different skill sets, Gunderson said. The students for-profits attract aren’t necessarily looking for the liberal-arts experience, he said.
But free public college might push more students away from small, private universities to what would be a cheaper alternative, said Richard Ekman, the president of the Council of Independent Colleges. Other students, he said, may choose a private college anyway because they see it as a higher-quality education.
It’s a question of taxpayer value, he argued. Private colleges do take federal grant money, but much of their costs are subsidized by private donors.
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