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The Great Debate - Free College For All
#1
There has been a lot of discussion about presidential candidates implementing "free college for all" and student debt elimination. I have been discussing this with some peers. Since this is an education forum it seems like the perfect place to ask for thoughts on the topic.


Here are some of my concerns:


1) FAFSA, is it staying or going?
    
    This was the bane of my existence since both sets of my divorced parents refused to fill it out. Getting through college took me way longer than it should have because I had to pay out of pocket up until the very last bit, and I ended up in adult entertainment which also lead to a lot of issues. If we are saying free college for all I will only be in support of candidates that get rid of the FAFSA all together... and so far I have seen no mention of how that will be handled. 


2) Are living expenses also being covered?

    Even if we do away with college tuition people still have to have room, board, and even money for things like car insurance. Some people may have family that will support them 100% during college but then there will be people without any family support. My concern is that there will still be a socio-economic gap in the end as it's a lot easier to get a high GPA when you don't have to worry about working to keep a roof over your head and food in your mouth. Dare I say too, many young kids without family support do not know how to even deal with human services to get assistance for food even if they are eligible. It seems like the whole process needs to be streamlined and thought through extremely well. Once again none of the candidates seem to be discussing this.


3) There are only a limited number of spots for housing on campus or through colleges. How will it be decided who gets those spots?

    We already know that for most people both GPA and SAT/ACT scores tend to be heavily correlated with stability at home and support networks. My concern is the colleges may decide to base who gets on-campus housing on GPA and test scores, leading to those with lower socio-economic, home stability, and support networks to continue struggling and still having to find ways to commute back and forth to campus. Granted, this is something many probably already deal with. The only thing I could see potentially working to be fair is limiting on-campus housing to freshman only.


4) How is this going to change the idea of college rankings and prestige such as the ivy schools?

    I could see this going one of two ways. Either the Ivies and high ranking schools will still use GPA/SAT/ACT to primarily cherry-pick leading to no real difference in long-term socio-economic changes for the mass majority as employers continue to often opt for hiring graduates from these schools. Or else the schools no longer feel the need to compete against one another... potentially leading to sub-par education. I do think there is already something to this idea of degree inflation that is a problem... I am struggling now with employers is the whole under-qualified/over-qualified issue and not finding the sweet spot. I suspect that has a lot to do with so many people now having bachelors degrees and while I am all for the education I wonder how this will change the employment market long-term.


5) Are we only talking free education for the associates and bachelor degree levels?

    If the candidates are considering doing this for graduates/post-graduate studies this could get really interesting! I suspect a lot of people might be willing to stay in school longer too if housing expenses and such are all paid.


So if you all could ask candidates questions about their proposals regarding college and student debt, what would your questions be? What thoughts do you have on these questions?
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#2
So I hate this idea, but I'm a small government girl, so that explains it.

First though, can we talk about college choice? Because if I'm paying for your college, then I expect that you will go to the least expensive (in-state, public) school available. If you start choosing more expensive options, why would I be expected to pay for that? Oh, and really, you should be going community college for the first 2 years, and the 4yr state school for the last 2.

Speaking of, you only get 2 years at the 4yr school. Any "finding yourself" or changing majors 14 times must be done at the CC level, and you get 2 paid for, with an option for the 3rd year if you've changed your major (once) or you have a lot of pre-reqs that have to be done, and the sequencing of them means you can't finish in 2 years (think pre-med, engineering, etc.).

And for lifestyle, if you live near a CC or 4yr school, you don't get to live in the dorms or off-campus housing unless you pay for that yourself. You can pay for lifestyle on your own. And dorms don't get to have hardwood floors and granite counters and a pool. Cinderblock and a shared bathroom for 30 people was good enough for me, it's good enough for you. Dorms should be crappy enough that people aren't flocking to them because it's better than the house their parents raised them in. They should basically suck. Think "prison." Kids would live in them because it's too far to commute. Any lifestyle upgrade needs to be paid for by the person who chooses to pay for it. And BTW, I'd have my kids live in a crappy dorm any day of the week. Get those standards nice and low in college, so that you don't think you're entitled to something much better when you graduate and find a job that doesn't offer the dream pay you were thinking you'd get on day 1. Ha!

I don't know how to fix the FAFSA thing. I've known many kids over the years who have parents who won't fill them out. We have to fill them out even though my kids don't qualify for any type of aid and we will be paying cash - because you can't get scholarships without it. It's a ridiculous system.
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#3
1. My sister and I were able to become independent because my mother wouldn't give info for the FAFSA.

2. That's asking for too much because people can work, but I did read an article about how free community college helps middle class students more than poor students. Poor students were already attending tuition-free because of the Pell Grant, but they're more likely to take out student loans to cover living expenses.

3. Classroom sizes are also limited, and most students are commuters. There are also off-campus student apartments that do roommate matching.

4. I don't see how this will affect Ivy League schools. The free tuition plans are for public schools. Poor kids can already attend Ivies tuition-free with in-house financial aid. Poor kids don't have the resources for SAT/ACT prep and to take those tests repeatedly, so that's why they rarely qualify for Ivies.

5. I don't think any candidate plans to cover graduate school. There are government agencies that cover tuition for healthcare students because there are shortages. There are graduate assistantships for on-campus students. Making graduate school free for everyone would be insane.
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#4
I think new york state has some sort of free college, but you have to agree to live and work in the state for a certain number of years after you graduate

that sounds good to me
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#5
Maine is offering to pay off student loan debt for those who move there. They're desperate for young people. You'd have to pay me a million dollars to live in Maine.
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#6
In my country university is tuition free since 2010. Though it seems good, the more priviledged are the ones who benefit, since person in poverty cant afford to attend scool for 4 years without working. You still have rent, food, books and entertainment.

Right now they are seeking to reform the program to prevent this.
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#7
(06-25-2019, 05:55 PM)sanantone Wrote: Maine is offering to pay off student loan debt for those who move there. They're desperate for young people. You'd have to pay me a million dollars to live in Maine.

Aww. They'll have to find someone else for this posting for Maine Game Warden.
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#8
I think FAFSA will be eliminated and tuition will drop.

There will not be free college.

More and more colleges will rely on automation for school and teaching jobs will become a thing of the past.
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#9
I don't even pretend to have a solution for 99.9% of the issues with college. The only comment I have is that I think everyone can agree that we all want to live in a country of highly educated people. We are all proud of what the US has done in terms of innovation and business growth. We can't maintain that if our people aren't educated.

I really wish we could get over any blame games and just reach across the aisle and find a way to meet this goal together. And I don't think it has to be 100% free - reasonably priced is fine. But we are only punishing ourselves and our status as a country if education isn't accessable to most. (Didn't say all because frankly not everyone is a candidate for college - we need our valuable trade skills too!)
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#10
America is the prime example that you don’t need a college education to become highly successful—in a way like in no other country. America is setup to where a high school dropout can become a millionaire. Entrepreneurship isn’t taught in k-12 yet people do great things everyday in that field.

If everyone had a college degree, the degree would be worthless as you’d be average. I prefer the 2/3 no degree and 1/3 college degrees.

Results are achieved through the use of logic and common sense. You can retire as a millionaire simply by saving $75 a month as an 18 year old, invest it, and gradually increase contributions as your income goes up. You don’t need a college degree to do that.


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