Thursday, October 22, 2015

complaints about "the cost" of higher ed

I don't understand the nature/extent of the concerns about the cost higher ed in America.

I hear a lot of complaints about debt, but that's a combination of decisions about spending a ton on college and not working while one goes to school. All things considered, college is not all that expensive for what you get-- if you're going into fields where college would be particularly useful.

I understand people wanting free stuff, and even sleeping well while getting other people to pay for it. I understand a critique of the current subsidies that are regressive and inefficient. I understand a critique of current policy as a mish-mash of subsidies that could be streamlined. I understand the misunderstanding about inflation in college tuition when the underlying metric is faulty: "sticker price" for tuition and room/board vs. actual price paid for tuition. And there are probably more.

But what are the real complaints here? My sense is that a lot of people want other people to pay for 10K's of $ for them to attend a college and live away from home, while doing little work. If that's the complaint, then I don't have much time for that.


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