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Post Reply Live in the US? Want two years of FREE community college?
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M / Earth
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Posted 1/8/15
Well you may have the hypothetical opportunity to! Obama has proposed a plan that makes two years of community college available to all students. An estimated 9 million students can benefit from this. This is a better way to spend our tax dollars on than unnecessary wars.

But... THERE's A CATCH!




...Good luck getting this through Congress
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21 / M / Tiphares
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
There is an A+ Program that offers students free tuition, but it's limited to community colleges only and as far as I'm aware, is only available in Missouri. I believe it only applies to the first two years, as well.
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Posted 1/8/15
The mode of funding tertiary education in the United States needs a complete overhaul. Tertiary education should be completely subsidized by the state upon passing an entrance examination which meets a nationally established curricular standard for any and all public institutions at the very least. Where public institutions are lacking in seats funding should be directed to bolster their capacities or to construct additional schools, hire additional faculty, and so on.

If the US is truly to be a meritocracy economic opportunity and social mobility absolutely must not come with a price tag affixed to them.
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38 / M
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Posted 1/8/15
The cost is likely something we can't afford. They already say that the economy could take a hit because of all the people delinquent on student loans and such.
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M / Houston, Tx
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Posted 1/8/15
Oh college,

You put me in such shallow debts.
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25 / M
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Posted 1/8/15
All I can say is he better credit the state of Tennessee, where he is making the speech, for mimicking the Tennessee Promise plan, but unlike this plan i doubt the national community college tuition will be payed by the lottery.
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19 / M / Future Gadget Lab...
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Posted 1/8/15


But seriously, with a Republican controlled Congress inaugurated and ready to fight everything Obama proposes, that is the biggest tease I've heard all week.



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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15

Veretax wrote:

The cost is likely something we can't afford. They already say that the economy could take a hit because of all the people delinquent on student loans and such.


I'd like to summarize for you what I think is a solidly-written case for free tertiary education, paraphrasing a bit to address your own concerns a bit more directly:

Interestingly enough it is the current model which is the more expensive one. The US spends more on education as a proportion of its GDP than the entire remainder of the industrialized world, and the cost of tertiary education in the US isn't going down. Meanwhile, in terms of access this spending doesn't propel the US to the front of the line at all. In other words, the current system isn't doing what it promised it would: improving access and cutting costs. It's failing miserably at doing this.

You've pointed to student loan delinquency as a potential threat to the economy, but that's just it: in a system where tertiary education is state funded instead of funded by individual loans the capacity for this problem to balloon out of control vanishes. Rather than risking tens, even hundreds of thousands of people falling into default at once in a bad economic climate the cost of those students' education is spread out across the entire population in smaller, manageable doses. In other words, freely accessible tertiary education isn't just cheaper, it's more stable than the alternatives.

Another important advantage free tertiary education brings is that it directly controls the price of higher education by removing a safety valve historically used to account for overspending on the part of universities (tuition). Since tuition wouldn't exist anymore it couldn't simply be increased to account for the fact that new stadiums and such weren't able to generate sufficient ticket, concession, and merchandising revenue to cover their expense on schedule. Schools would have to actually manage their finances responsibly since they couldn't just shuffle the cost of their shortages into someone else's hand.

I've already spoken a bit about the points on access and communal goods in my own prior post, specifically where I speak of economic opportunity, social mobility, and the USA's status as a meritocracy. Nevertheless, to emphasize the point it is crucial that social mobility and economic opportunity come without regard to socioeconomic status in a meritocracy, and the current system has proven insufficient to completely deliver on this promise.



It is at this point that I'd like to outline some of the common objections to a system with free tertiary education and Mr. Freedman's responses thereto.

The objection that a system where tertiary education is freely accessible is too expensive misses that tertiary education is actually more expensive under the prevailing system.

The objection that tertiary educational institutions are already flooded with students who are seeking or will seek work which does not actually require a bachelor's degree or higher misses that at least some tertiary education is becoming more and more expected within the workforce even if the expectation for degrees isn't keeping pace. This objection also misses that it is actually the case that too few people facing financial barriers to tertiary education are getting in due to the scarcity and competitiveness of scholarships, concerns about student debt, and so on.

The objection that students ought to bear the risk for their education since they'll be the primary recipients of its benefits forgets the positive externalities generated by a well-educated population, the fact that even in a system where tertiary education is tuition free students still bear some risk, and that there is an inherent opportunity cost involved in remaining in school rather than entering the workforce. Students who opted to "stay in school forever" would be missing out on income, experience, networking opportunities, and so on. Those are genuine and significant losses.

Finally, concerns that reducing the cost of tertiary education would simultaneously reduce the quality thereof are speculative and do not account for the earlier point about a tuition free system's forcing schools to pay closer attention to where their budgets are directed and to make more intelligent decisions with their money. Maybe that new stadium isn't so tempting when it comes at the expense of performance and educational resources (which are major selling points).

And now my link to the article I've been summarizing and paraphrasing for so as to credit Mr. Freedman's work:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshfreedman/2014/02/14/the-promise-of-free-public-higher-education/

I posted this partly to reply to you and partly for the benefit of promoting dialogue in the thread at large, and I hope you found it both interesting and not too "wall of text"-like.

Edit: As a matter of fact, the OECD fact sheet cited in the article I just summarized is an interesting read on its own. Here, for everyone's perusal:

http://www.oecd.org/education/CN%20-%20United%20States.pdf
oellno 
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34 / M
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
Yea a million more people with degrees, I mean certificates for jobs that don't exist. And for free no less. How bout trade schools since those skills are actually needed? No way man that's to much like work. I'd rather spend 3 hours of my 8 hour workday filling out clerical forms and on Facebook the rest of the day. Community College Rocks!
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
Yeah..... we're still trying to find those weapons of mass destruction, so of course we can't stop dumping away most of our budget into our military.

If you didn't notice, it's sarcastic
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22 / M / San Antonio, TX,...
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Posted 1/8/15
I wish, but too late for me. I am already almost done with my associates. (I have taken a long time to complete it and still not near done)
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21 / M / Southaven MS, USA
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Posted 1/8/15
my state (Tennessee) already funds two free years of community college. just got to do 8 hours community service each semester.
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23 / M / Saint Charles, Mi...
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
The problem is that a similar program in Missouri went bankrupt very quickly; its ending this year. Overall any ADDITIONAL spending by our government is a bad move; and our military budgets have been cut very significantly. Our largest expenditure is social security...
Iax 
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31 / M / Flint, MI.
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Posted 1/8/15
We are 18 trillion dollars in debt we can no longer afford social programs cut corporate tax and get rid of income tax and this country will come roaring back to life with out the help of government or its useless programs. Then you will be able to pay for your own college. But that will never happen because the democrats and republicans love spending our money that we give a piece of our life to make. Giving it to other countries that hate us or giving it to their union buddies to funnel it back into their campaigns and pockets.
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21 / F / The Flying Pussyf...
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Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/9/15

LONGNAMEYOUWONTMISS wrote:

Well you may have the hypothetical opportunity to! Obama has proposed a plan that makes two years of community college available to all students. An estimated 9 million students can benefit from this. This is a better way to spend our tax dollars on than unnecessary wars.

But... THERE's A CATCH!




...Good luck getting this through Congress


What's the catch?
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