Why Free Community College Solves The Wrong Problem

House Democrats have released their draft plan to make free community college a reality across much of the country, at a price tag of over $100 billion. The obsession with a zero sticker price for community college is odd, given that community colleges are already one of the most affordable sectors of America’s higher-education system. … Continue reading “Why Free Community College Solves The Wrong Problem”

Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo

Now that President Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president, he wants to hit the ground running and attend to urgent priorities. One of his first moves was to extend student loan payment deferrals until October, buying time for further reforms to America’s higher education system. Deferrals will be one small part of … Continue reading “Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo”

Attaching Strings to “Free” College Education Makes No Sense

Recently, several states have adopted policies that ostensibly make college education free to their residents, but with strings attached to this benefit. The most famous program is undoubtedly New York’s. Under the “Excelsior Scholarships” plan recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, state residents who come from families with annual incomes under $125,000 won’t … Continue reading “Attaching Strings to “Free” College Education Makes No Sense”

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”

The Education Trust Falls for the Chivas Regal Effect

One of the pillars of our education establishment, The Education Trust, recently published a report that’s meant to pressure colleges and universities with large endowments into spending more of their earnings on one of its pet causes—very low or even free tuition for students from poorer families. Entitled “A Glimpse Inside the Coffers: Endowment Spending … Continue reading “The Education Trust Falls for the Chivas Regal Effect”

“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.