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Old 2012-04-17, 11:28 AM   #101
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I think Virginia and Foxx are both fairly common first and last names
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Old 2012-04-17, 3:37 PM   #102
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With two x's?!? No waaaaay
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Old 2012-04-17, 6:33 PM   #103
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All right then. Explain to me why higher education shouldn't be a basic human right or "entitlement".

Even better, explain to me how a system that is working towards gating off higher education to the wealthier members of society fits the requirement of having equal access based on merit.

It would be nice if it was, but we're already adding a trillion to the debt. I don't see how we can afford to provide free college without revenue increases(aka never).
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Old 2012-04-17, 6:47 PM   #104
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It would be nice if it was, but we're already adding a trillion to the debt. I don't see how we can afford to provide free college without revenue increases(aka never).
We heavily subsidized it in the past and look at what it gave us. It is the equivalent of spending lots of money now to rapidly expand the economy later. Same reason we should be increasing funding for NASA.
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Old 2012-04-17, 7:10 PM   #105
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We heavily subsidized it in the past and look at what it gave us. It is the equivalent of spending lots of money now to rapidly expand the economy later. Same reason we should be increasing funding for NASA.
Or the NSF. Or both.
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Old 2012-04-17, 7:39 PM   #106
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Considering how hard Republicans have worked to destroy opportunity for the last fifty years it's always a little weird seeing their inability to believe that they've succeeded.
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Old 2012-04-17, 11:06 PM   #107
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With two x's?!? No waaaaay
I wonder if people who comment on influential womens' beauty for unironic reasons think the same way, just about all women? That is, they think all women sound a little like strippers, and that is the reason they make those comments?
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Old 2012-04-18, 3:32 AM   #108
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We heavily subsidized it in the past and look at what it gave us. It is the equivalent of spending lots of money now to rapidly expand the economy later. Same reason we should be increasing funding for NASA.

I'm just really not a fan of increasing spending witthout paying for it either through spendinng cuts elsewhere or tax increases. I say piffle to the whole "x program will pay for itself after y years". I imagine that taking over higher ed would add another 100-200 billion a year to our debt, hasn't it been over 10 years now since our country has had a surplus?
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Old 2012-04-18, 7:36 AM   #109
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I'm just really not a fan of increasing spending witthout paying for it either through spendinng cuts elsewhere or tax increases. I say piffle to the whole "x program will pay for itself after y years". I imagine that taking over higher ed would add another 100-200 billion a year to our debt, hasn't it been over 10 years now since our country has had a surplus?
Here's the thing: If we don't educate and provide opportunities to our young people, we may wind up with a society that will, as my generation ages out of the workplace, lack the skills to compete in a global economy filled with literally billions of other people. I don't know about you, but I am not eager to sit in my rocking chair 30+ years from now and watch this country's steady decline, worrying all the time how my children's and grandchildren's lives will be, because we were too shortsighted to provide them with the proper tools to provide for themselves and for me in my senescence.

And FWIW, I'm not just talking about "higher education", but trades and such as well. I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Not everyone is cut out for academia, and we need to give the people who aren't an opportunity to find a trade that suits them, whether through technical institutes or apprenticeship programs or whatever. Otherwise we are begging for a broad class of unemployed and under employed young people, and little good can come of that.
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Old 2012-04-18, 9:36 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by His Divine Shadow View Post
I'm just really not a fan of increasing spending witthout paying for it either through spendinng cuts elsewhere or tax increases. I say piffle to the whole "x program will pay for itself after y years". I imagine that taking over higher ed would add another 100-200 billion a year to our debt, hasn't it been over 10 years now since our country has had a surplus?
I admit that the numbers on this are basically guesswork, but I think I read the total cost per year to provide a free college education for everyone in the United States was around a 10 - 15 billion dollars a year increase in the budget.
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Old 2012-04-18, 9:59 AM   #111
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There are 20 million higher ed students in the country. At $50k per, that would be $1 trillion/year.
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Old 2012-04-18, 10:02 AM   #112
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why is it $50k per? if you're assuming $10,000/year for 5 years, then you also need to state the second number in the same parameters (e.g. $200bn/year) or it's pretty misleading. if you're saying that college costs $50k per year...well then I question that. most (reasonable) in state tuition costs at state universities are ~$10,000/year.
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Old 2012-04-18, 10:03 AM   #113
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That depends entirely on the potential for cost control.

If all they did was underwrite funding for every college student (including board), then you'd be looking at a cost of about (13M*17500+12M*9000) $315 billion.

Just underwriting tuition/fees would add up to about (13M*8000+12M*4500) $158 billion.

[This is using NCES numbers, median costs and fulltime/parttime populations. ]
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Old 2012-04-18, 10:11 AM   #114
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why is it $50k per? if you're assuming $10,000/year for 5 years, then you also need to state the second number in the same parameters (e.g. $200bn/year) or it's pretty misleading. if you're saying that college costs $50k per year...well then I question that. most (reasonable) in state tuition costs at state universities are ~$10,000/year.
In-state tuition is cheap because it already includes a pretty sizeable government contribution.

But, ok, let's say we could do $25k/student*year nationwide, which sounds impossibly low to me. That's a $500 billion investment, assuming enrollment numbers don't change when you make college free. That's a terrible assumption. But let's assume it. If the cost of educating all higher ed students is $500 billion, and doing it free would be a $10 billion dollar increase, you're assuming the government already covers 98% of higher ed expenses.

Not even close.
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:15 PM   #115
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I can't remember the entire argument, but what it boils down to is that assuming that "universal higher education" means just writing a check for current college costs for every potential student in the United States is a vast misrepresentation of what any such policy would realistically entail.

I'll try to track down the argument so I can post it in more detail.
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:31 PM   #116
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Right, it would be about cost control. Which makes the whole thing disastrously complicated, since you'd have private universities railing against it the whole way, political opposition (especially from the charter school and voucher concept crowd), geographical resident/non-resident issues [admissions changes? revenue sourcing? etc]... and actual cost control implementation.

I don't think you could get away with under $100 billion / year regardless of how you do it.
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:40 PM   #117
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There's also the matter of who gets to go where; why does one student get to go to Vassar while another goes to UC Santa Cruz? At a given school, does a poor student in an expensive major get more funding than a good student in a cheap major?

In my opinion, it's doable to offer an associate's degree or trade school to every interested student, as well as substantially upping the availability of academic scholarships for better institutions.

Out of curiosity, are there any figures available regarding how subsidizing some of the operating costs of private universities would impact tuition?
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:48 PM   #118
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I can't remember the entire argument, but what it boils down to is that assuming that "universal higher education" means just writing a check for current college costs for every potential student in the United States is a vast misrepresentation of what any such policy would realistically entail.

I'll try to track down the argument so I can post it in more detail.
I'm not really sure how you would drop the per-student cost significantly while maintaining educational quality.

Let's take a low-ball estimate. I can find full statistics for Henry Ford Community College in Michigan, which will spend $89 million this year to educate 5400 full-time students and 8600 part-time students. Let's assume those part-timers are all on a 50% load. HFCC is educating about 10,000 students at a cost of about $9000 per student.

But, they are doing all that educating at the first and second year level, which are MUCH cheaper than educating upper level students, who have smaller classes, and more sophisticated, expensive equipment, and much, much cheaper than educating graduate students, who have tiny classes, and need one-on-one guidance and often lab space.

So, if you could teach every higher ed student at the community college cost (and you can't), and if enrollment stayed at current levels when college went free (it wouldn't) you'd have to spend $200 billion a year to run the American higher education system. In reality, the number would be much, much higher.

This is not addressing at all whether $200 billion or $500 billion or $1 trillion a year in higher education spending is a wise investment by our government, but there is no way it would be a small one, wise or unwise.



(By the way, note that this estimate used a community college that does not supply housing and which offers only a small food service.) Since people need to eat and sleep, this lowball estimate only becomes more absurd.
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:52 PM   #119
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hmm where could we possibly get such vast sums of money to improve our education system *camera slowly pans to healthcare, tax system, defense budgets*
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:53 PM   #120
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why is higher education so expensive *camera slowly pans to wildly inflated tuition rates, exorbitant university expenses, mismanaged faculties*
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Old 2012-04-18, 12:59 PM   #121
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yeah I mean, it could literally cost $1tn a year (it wouldn't) and I'd still be like "okay, why aren't we doing this".
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Old 2012-04-18, 1:05 PM   #122
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Oh, another thing about that estimate up there. That budget includes literally no new equipment, except to replace breakage, so $200 billion assumes you never improve anything, never buy computers, and make no attempts to catch up with technology.
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Old 2012-04-18, 1:07 PM   #123
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I don't think anybody is suggesting the government literally create the equivalent of private universities with dorms etc. It would be a greatly expanded community college system. Strip away amenities like dorms and costs go way down. Hire professional teachers instead of paying huge salaries to professors who don't actually teach and costs go down. Don't spend tons of money on football stadiums and costs go way down (AFAIK college sports straight up lose money for most schools, not to mention they are terrible for other reasons). If the government created educational institutions instead of social institutions then they would cost a lot less.

edit: of course it will be expensive but like RB said even if it was way more expensive than I think it would be I would still say "okay it's still a great idea, let's do it, we can get the money by fixing all these other horrible things."
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Old 2012-04-18, 1:10 PM   #124
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It's like comparing a new universal healthcare system cost as the cost of literally just fronting everyone's insurance premiums.

It's not how it would happen, it's not the most efficient, and it's not the most cost effective. It's a, in my opinion, worthless tangent.

As for dropping per-student cost while maintaining educational quality, there are numerous ways to go about this. Off the top of my head: Stadium-style classes for useless entry-level classes (do you really need a 20 person class for english 101? Nope), streamlined equipment uses and purchases, more online classes offered, etc.
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Old 2012-04-18, 1:12 PM   #125
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Aren't stadium-style 101s pretty standard?

edit- I feel like I had this for required courses from CS 101 until Models of Computation, and normal sized classes after that.

edit edit- Physics labs excepted, of course.
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