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Coronavirus Crisis Puts Damper on Plans for ‘Free’ College

Coronavirus Crisis Puts Damper on Plans for ‘Free’ College

“Colleges never fully recovered from the last recession, and now they need tens of billions of dollars to avoid massive tuition hikes”

This crisis is a game changer. Suddenly states and schools are worried about finances.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Pandemic’s New Victim? Free College

Though they don’t necessarily doom the plans, the financial struggles of states amid the coronavirus pandemic have become a major obstacle to free college proposals from presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

So much so that at least one proponent of free college, Morley Winograd, president of the Campaign for Free College Tuition, acknowledged that the proposals from Sanders and Biden on how to pay for eliminating tuition now are unlikely to happen. The plans “need to be put aside for now,” he said, given the focus on preventing state cuts from sending college tuition soaring.

“Colleges never fully recovered from the last recession, and now they need tens of billions of dollars to avoid massive tuition hikes,” said James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success and former deputy domestic policy adviser in the Obama White House. “The first priority for both the federal government and states has to be addressing steep budget cuts and preventing large tuition hikes.”

Kvaal said that “puts the free college plans in doubt for the foreseeable future.” But he said free tuition could still happen sometime in the future.

What’s dampening hopes for many higher education experts is that both candidates’ plans call for states to chip in tens of billions of dollars.

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Comments

Morning Sunshine | April 5, 2020 at 6:29 pm

so is Kvaal admitting that “free college” will raise tuition prices?

and now they need tens of billions of dollars to avoid massive tuition hikes

Sounds like somebody’s a bit weak on the concept of cause & effect. Tuitions don’t skyrocket because money isn’t available, they skyrocket because it is. College costs increase to soak up all the funding available. Decrease the funding, demand will decrease, and so inevitably will tuition. Naturally many schools won’t be able to figure out how to do that. But that won’t hurt “education” any, since such schools weren’t really contributing much of it.

healthguyfsu | April 6, 2020 at 11:43 am

Good.

Expose the vulnerability of such plans that are on shaky ground during good times and downright reckless should we experience any kind of challenge whatsoever.

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