Pro/Con: Is Food Insecurity on Campus a Problem?

Campus Food Insecurity Matters Food insecurity among American college students is a significant problem. While outdated stereotypes of higher education presume that undergraduates live on campus, receive stipends from their parents, and gorge themselves in campus dining halls, the facts suggest the opposite. Only 15.6 percent of today’s students reside on a college campus, at … Continue reading “Pro/Con: Is Food Insecurity on Campus a Problem?”


Student Loan Defaults Reveal the True Cost of Student Loans

With the rising number of student loan defaults, the federal government has reaped what it has sown. A government policy to give virtually any student a loan has pushed tens of thousands of them into a financial hole from which they will struggle to escape for years. A new report from The Institute for College … Continue reading “Student Loan Defaults Reveal the True Cost of Student Loans”


Louisiana Discovers the Always-Growing Costs of Free College

Student loan debt has become a major concern for young people. In response, some Democratic candidates for president are offering “free college” proposals. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the first presidential candidate to propose this in 2016. His plan came with a price tag of $47 billion and had the federal government covering two-thirds of … Continue reading “Louisiana Discovers the Always-Growing Costs of Free College”


‘Free College:’ A Better Approach

Two facts about colleges stand out. First, they are largely (some argue almost entirely) a “private” good; that is to say, the benefits from college attendance accrue mainly to the student, not to society at large. For example, the Census Bureau tells us the typical male adult college graduate made about $30,000 a year more … Continue reading “‘Free College:’ A Better Approach”


Free College Is Just Another Middle-Class Entitlement

Tennessee legislators received a shock in 2012 when a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce predicted that by 2020, 55 percent of Tennessee jobs would require some kind of postsecondary education or job training. To elected officials in a state where only a quarter of citizens possessed a bachelor’s degree and … Continue reading “Free College Is Just Another Middle-Class Entitlement”


Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On

During last week’s hearings on President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Senator Bernie Sanders asked her, “Will you work with me and others to make public colleges and universities tuition-free through federal and state efforts?” That, of course, was an idea that he and Hillary Clinton supported in last year’s presidential campaign—free … Continue reading “Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On”


No, the Clinton Plan Won’t “Fix College”

Hillary Clinton’s higher education policy ideas have been taking a lot of criticism. Here, for example, is an analysis by economics professor Gary Wolfram, published in May by the Pope Center. And here’s my take. Apparently, opposition to Clinton’s proposals is sufficiently worrisome to Democrats that on September 10, Robert Shireman (undersecretary in the Department of Education … Continue reading “No, the Clinton Plan Won’t “Fix College””


Hillary Clinton’s New College “Reforms”

Seemingly, nothing now stands between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nomination, so it’s worth looking anew at her proposals regarding higher education. Back in May, Professor Gary Wolfram critiqued the ideas Clinton had been pushing, but recently she advanced some new proposals that go beyond her earlier ones. During her primary fight with Senator Bernie … Continue reading “Hillary Clinton’s New College “Reforms””


“Free” community college will make a bad situation worse

In his State of the Union address, President Obama pitched his plan for making two years of community college as “free and universal in America as high school is today.” He thinks it would be a great thing. But at the community college where I taught English from 2007 to 2010, Georgia Perimeter College, the joke was that it was already an extension of high school.


Americans used to save for college; moves toward making it free are not progress

I am strongly committed to higher education, especially in the sciences and math where we are lagging other countries. I also understand that there are students of limited means, and they need a hand up in life. But we seem to no longer draw rational lines between serious students who need assistance, and the many non-serious students who squander it.