college graduates

“Free” College Is Just Another Government Bailout, But Not For the Students

When Bernie Sanders and others demand free tuition they are not aiding students but attempting to bail out Big Business.

Free tuition is being suggested at just the time when college prices are about to collapse. Rob Dreher at The American Conservative noticed a significant drop in enrollment at the University of Missouri, and suggested that it may be “because people don’t want to deal with the Social Justice Warriors and the administration they have wrapped around their finger.”

However, a professor wrote to him about another possibility causing declining enrollment at many colleges.

This chart by the St Louis Fed shows how debt has turned parabolic since 2010, in a pattern that simply can’t be sustainable for more than another year or two. I’d say that 2016 is roughly equivalent to 2006 in the housing crisis cycle.

As a result, student enrollment is declining and colleges are facing a disaster. The professor wrote about the stages he’s witnessed at the school where he has taught for a decade.

  1. Spend heavily on facility development in anticipation of a growing student body, while telling the faculty that this kind of expansion is “the only way” to remain solvent.

  2. React with confusion when hopelessly optimistic expansion targets prove to be unattainabledue to unprecedented economic headwinds.

  3. Lower admissions standards to admit a larger fraction of applicants (including community college transfers) in order to kick the can down the road for another year or two, then feign shock when retention rates fall off a cliff. (My university went from about 81% to 59%, freshman class.)

  4. Give up and grab the axe.

Colleges and universities are about to face steep cuts. More high school graduates are going to elect to find their way into a career without a diploma.

Do you think it is an accident that we are now seeing a push for free college tuition? Bernie Sanders is openly pushing for it.

Just like free healthcare is an attempt to stave off the coming crash in the medical industry, free tuition would not make students better off but would bail out a Big Business—colleges and universities.

If you have time to watch it, the video below does a pretty good job of explaining how the federal government has created the college bubble. Free tuition is an attempt to keep that bubble inflating. It won’t work. The crash is inevitable.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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