Republicans who support tuition-free state college outnumber opponents


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/21/thats-what-happened.html


#2

The real question, do they support it enough to call their representatives and senators to make their views known?


#3

The college where I teach is already tuition-free, which means that every day I get to convert more and more of my students into genderqueer Marxist vegan jihadis. It’s a beautiful world.


#4

VEGANS! Outrage! :wink:


#5

I expect this to be in a Breitbart article any day now.


#6

This random tweet from last year

[ultrasound scan room]

Mother: is it a boy or a girl, Doc?

Sonographer: it’s a—

[literally from inside the mother]
'I’m vegan'

— frøstandfuriøus (@Nick_Frost) August 12, 2016

#7

Blowing my mind.


#8

If state colleges were made tuition-free, I wonder what the increased demand would do to entrance requirements? State colleges are already running pretty much at capacity, so I don’t expect it will increase the number of people with a degree. Some of them are already incredibly difficult to get into and I wonder how much worse this would make it.

Still, I suppose it’s better to make admission dependent solely on merit rather than on the ability to raise tuition via grants, loans, or family.

Another way this could end up being implemented would be to hold college funding at the same level it is now but prohibit universities from charging tuition. They would either have to raise money outside of the government (by charging big fees to foreign students or inviting companies to sponsor certain programs, for example) or reduce their student population.


#9

More importantly, are enough of them large donors or are there enough who would be willing to vote out their representatives and senators who don’t support tuition-free state college?

Because, in my experience, the only two things that will change the minds of most members of Congress are money or the possibility of losing their job.


#10

Is it tuition-free college admission for everyone, or only for the “deserving” (AKA white Xtian cisgender males from the “Heartland”).


#11

Actually, most universities seek corporate sponsorship, government science grants, and charge huge fees to out-of-state students, in addition to the in-state tuition rate. The amount of funding from the state varies from state to state.

If you forbid the collection of tuition and hold everything else constant, then that just encourages them to take on few students. Which would also mean paying fewer professors to teach, occupying (and heating) fewer buildings, and so on.

Also, any significantly large institution is better off turning their pile of cash into a giant hedge fund than they are doing anything else with it. Most universities already understand this, but feel obligated to put some effort into maintaining the actual university if for no other reason to have someplace to receive their mail. Separating the big pile of cash from the incoming students might just make them more willing to dispense with the façade that what they do has anything to do with education.


#12

What percentage of Republicans only joined the GOP because they didn’t like ahem the last President? You know, the ones who love the Affordable Care Act?


#13

They would be better off buying index funds. None of the big (private) schools with massive hedge funds have beat the market.

I don’t think any public school could do what you suggest. If they tried, the administration would be instantly fired.


#14

Is this actually true? I seem to remember from Piketty that large fortunes consistently grow faster than small fortunes b/c of better management and access to better investment opportunities. Since universities are tax exempt that should be even more pronounced. Are you sure you’re not just looking at headline endowment size numbers (growth of which wouldn’t account for the fact that you’re spending 5-6% of the money each year)?


#15

College isn’t for everyone, so I don’t know why tuition-free college would be!

I live in a small college town, so a lot of my friends, acquaintances, and spouses work for the college.I think without exception (well, the exception being my spouse, who is on staff (not a prof.)) they all lament how intellectually meaningless a lot of college is these days. Apparently the push to make sure everyone should go to college has resulted in:

  1. Trillions of dollars in debt. (But if free, this would go away, but there still would be trillions in
    expenses.
  2. The stupid situation we have today were you practically need a college diploma to work at a convenience store (exaggeration, of course, but true in spirit).
  3. Reduced level of instruction, as the more open enrollment has caused a regression to the mean (the local college – a liberal arts one – now has more remedial math classes than regular ones – by like a factor of five – which is reverse of what it was 20-some years ago.

“College for everyone” does no one any good, save for the college financing industry. The only way to get college for everyone is to make college suitable for everyone, which is to drop the level of instruction to at times meaningless bottoms. And it marginalizes the students that really shouldn’t be in college – those who either don’t want to do anything that really requires that education, or are incapable of doing such things – at that’s one of the real tragedies.

No one benefits.

If college were free – and I have nothing against that – we’d have to figure out what that means to the admission process, and I guarantee that we would do a bad job of it. How much should be based upon merit? How much on social agendas? These are hard questions, and I don’t see the US, as a society, up for the discussion.

Edit: Oh, and:

AKA white Xtian cisgender males from the “Heartland"

Where do you get that? Males are a minority in collage, and have been for a long time (I think since the 70’s).


#16

Recently (for the last 5 or so years) yes.

Harvard, for example, has reported some nice returns when compared to a pretty conservative mix of bonds and stocks, but they don’t include their expenses in that number. If they had gone full on index fund after about 1995, they would be better off today.


#17

I agree. My point is that there are plenty of right-wingers who support tuition-free college, along with government health insurance and other goodies, but only for the “right” sort of people (intellectual ability being low on their list of priorities). Right-wing populism and fascism rests on this concept – when you hear them talking about welfare and government programmes for the “deserving” it’s code for “white.”


#18

I’m sure we both agree that such types would probably benefit with some education themselves :slight_smile:


#19

Make colleges free == less need to our source.

It’s a way to conservative goals, but it took them a long time to realize the extra step. It also satisfies pro-union Democrats. And left-wing socialists. And millennials, the largest generation since baby boomers. (actually they overtook baby boomers, because that’s how the math for population growth works)


#20

It should be the job of the institution to raise people up. And unlike primary and secondary school, there is no mandate to graduate every student.