Obama moves to extend student loan payment relief

"We are here today because we believe that in America, no hard-working young person should be priced out of a higher education"
Associated Press
Jun 10, 2014

 

Aiming to alleviate the burden of student loan debt, President Barack Obama expanded a program Monday that lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their income every month, and threw his support behind more sweeping Senate legislation targeting the issue.

Flanked by student loan borrowers at the White House, Obama said the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He put his pen to a presidential memorandum that he said could help an additional 5 million borrowers lower their monthly payments.

"I'm only here because this country gave me a chance through education," Obama said. "We are here today because we believe that in America, no hard-working young person should be priced out of a higher education."

An existing repayment plan Obama announced in 2010 lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in payments, but is only available for those who started borrowing after October 2007. Obama's memo expands that program by making opening it to those who borrowed anytime in the past.

Obama also announced he is directing the government to renegotiate contracts with federal student loan servicers to encourage them to make it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting on their loans. And he asked Treasury and Education departments to work with major tax preparers, including H&R Block and the makers of TurboTax, to increase awareness about tuition tax credits and flexible repayment options available to borrowers.

"It's going to make progress, but not enough," Obama said. "We need more."

To that end, Obama used the East Room appearance to endorse legislation that would let college graduates with heavy debts refinance their loans.

The bill's chief advocate, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, joined a half-dozen other Democratic lawmakers as Obama urged Congress to pass the bill.

"This should be a no-brainer," Obama said.

The Senate is expected to debate the legislation next week, but it faces significant opposition from Republicans, who disagree with the Democrats' plan for how to pay for it.

The dual strategy — taking executive action while urging Congress to finish the job — has become Obama's signature playbook this year. Stymied by gridlock as Congress marches toward the midterm elections, he has repeatedly sought ways to go around Congress with modest steps.

Under an income-based repayment plan created by Congress, the maximum monthly payment is already set to drop from 15 percent of income to 10 percent in July 2014. But that plan only affects new borrowers. Obama's "Pay as You Earn" plan uses another part of existing law to offer similar benefits to people who already borrowed to finance their education.

In previous Obama budgets, the White House has predicted that making the plan retroactive would cost the federal government billions of dollars in the early years. Asked about the costs Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the administration won't know how much it will cost until they go through the rule-making process to put the expansion in place.

"We actually don't know the costs yet," Duncan said. "We'll figure that out on the back end."

Republican leaders in Congress have faulted Obama's steps on loan repayments for failing to address the root cause: college costs that are too high.

"This was not a thought-out policy solution, but another in a series of political events designed to distract from the difficulties facing college grads in the Obama economy," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Comments

From the Grave

It should be free.

MiddleRight

Classic Obama. We have a real problem in that it is way to expensive to get a college education.
Instead of doing something to lower the cost and make it more affordable, he tries to minimize payments, which you will only lengthen the amount of time it takes to repay the debt.
I've read that this will save on average about $1 per month.

Maybe if college students were military deserters, he'd offer the world for them.

freethinker1

You actually think a President can tell a college/university what they can charge for tuition?

MiddleRight

He's pretty much doing anything he wants right now.

And no, I don't think he can. However, his solution is laughable and only extends the student loan debt problem. Much like our national debt problem.

What he could do is implement policies to help the economy create jobs.

grumpy

"It should be free."

Yes it is much more better for the gov't pay for it so the people don't have to... Oh wait.... where is it that the gov't gets it's money from again?

From the Grave

And then, when you get your job and start paying taxes, you will be charged a nominal amount as a "repayment" based on your actual income. Nobody should pass on further education because they can't afford it. Nobody.

meowmix

Totally agree. Better to see a kid go to college free of charge and become a productive tax-paying citizen than a drop-out living hand-to-mouth courtesy of the those of us who pay taxes. I just don't get the resentment of people begrudging anyone trying for a better life.

There you go again

How about some focus on "Job Creation" so graduates can get jobs, rather than more concessions?!?! Once again, I see the Prsident avoiding the obvious (no job growth-just people leaving the work force). As a recent graduate, I can honestly say I more relived to have a job so I can repay my school loans instead of relying on government assistance to delay loan payment.

freethinker1

Dude, you are stunningly misinformed. More than 9 million jobs have been added under Obama, outpacing the 7 million jobs lost under Bush. It's unfortunate that Republican Congressmen oppose every single Obama jobs creation initiative, isn't it? They and predatory college loan companies are the problem.

Donegan

Predatory loan companies?
http://www.usatoday.com/story/ne...
Who is the predator now?

MiddleRight

I don't think "Closedmindedthinker1" will be responding to this as it doesn't fit his narrative.

Prime rate is at 3.25% and the bank fed funds rate is like .25%. Why are students repaying the gov't 6-10%???????
The only way out of a student loan is to die, so they aren't high risk.

Also, I think only the first $2,000 in student loan interest is deductible on your federal taxes. Shouldn't this be a straight credit instead of a deduction with no limit?

See "Freethinker1" there are two great ideas to help students repay loans. The Chosen One is too busy releasing the worst human beings on the planet from captivity to worry about solutions to Americans problems though.

coasterfan

I agree with Freethinker, but think you have some good ideas, too. The point is: Obama is the first president to attempt to tackle this issue, and he deserves some snaps for that. He also has worked to increase funding for student loans and grants. It's put more $$ in middle-class pockets, which isn't a bad thing. Romney, as you recall, wanted to do the exact opposite.

Re: releasing Gitmo prisoners, let me provide some perspective. Bush released more than 500 Guantanamo Bay prisoners (that's not a misprint: five hundred)_and in return, zero (that's not a misprint: 0) American captives were freed.

Obama did receive a majority of the popular vote in 2012 and won a landslide Electoral College victory. So, you're right, he was the chosen one.

dontknowmuch

By your math then the unemployment rate should be lower than it was under Bush. Before blaming the GOP as you are sheeple dude tell us how many jobs bills are languishing on Harry Reid's desk

From the Grave

Some people's monthly payments are so high though, that they can't even afford live on their own.

Contango

Re: "can't even afford live on their own,"

Approx. 1/3 of adult "children" now live with their parents.

Mom and Dad are moving in too.

Boomers: The "Sandwich Generation."

Contango

I heard a figure last night: 69% of students don't graduate.

Many flunk out after partying hearty, leave, but are still responsible for the debt.

Pres. Obama needs to contact Fed Chair Yellen and tell her to print up a few trillion dollars, pass it over to the Treasury Dept. so they can ship it out to these poor unfortunate souls.

Darwin's choice

That seems to be the answer for most of this administrations failures...!

obama/failing

freethinker1

Apparently a majority of Americans disagree, otherwise he wouldn't have been re-elected.

freespeech1

He was re-elected cause the vast majority of voters are idiots! And how anyone can defend this liar is beyond me. If this would have been a Republican that has done what obie the weak has done they would have wanted his head on a platter. This guy couldn't lead his way out of a wet paper bag.

Contango

"The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men.

As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal.

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

- H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920

Contango

Re: "majority of Americans,"

Obama phone lady spoke volumes for those masses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t...

ladydye_5

And many flunk out, after using all the college debt to party WITH. Buying pizza, beer, clothes, cars, everything BUT the education they NEED.

coasterfan

I think Contango meant party "hearty", as is "with gusto", rather than "hardy", which has a completely different meaning.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"We actually don't know the costs yet," Duncan said. "We'll figure that out on the back end." Huh I guess no brains were actually used as President Obama had predicted.

Not thinking about future costs, ripple effects, or anything else beyond a convenient tagline? Seems par for the course. Not involving Congress on a plan that even the White House says would cost BILLIONS of dollars its first year?

#seemslegit

NBC's Chuck Todd Grills Obama Admin On Constitutionality Of Education Plan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D...

Obama Admin: We "Don't Know The Cost Yet" Of Our Own Education Plan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W...
Listen to this stammering non-response. "...rather than paying back loans...". Aren't those loans tax money? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Hello? Hello? Anyone there in D.C. would like to, you know, do something other than give a babbling, petty retort like the unfortunately-presumed-to-be-reelected-Senator-McConnell (by proxy of a spokesman since I guess he can't be bothered to do it himself)?

If it weren't a sick joke to begin with this is where I'd conclude by saying, "We call this act...THE ARISTOCRATS!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The...

Donegan

When they can monetize the debt at will the currency becomes worthless. Those in Washington see that they can spend all they want for taglines and election fodder while the uneducated masses think it is "Free".
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
The only difference is the executive is overstepping its bounds to spend before congress even gets a chance to.

Contango

Re: "When they can monetize the debt at will the currency becomes worthless."

“There is no STANDARD of money that has simply EVER lasted. Everything has risen, crashed, and burned – WITHOUT EXCEPTION.”

- Martin Armstrong

Countries regularly have and do cancel legal tender (notes) rendering them worthless. The U.S. 'currently' is the exception.

Donegan

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/russia...
The demise of the dollar is being rushed through this admin. The rest of the world sees it already but the leftist voters here either do not care or are actively working towards that goal.

Contango

Re: "The demise of the dollar,"

I believe that Warren Buffett called it right:

"Buffett Calls Fed History’s Greatest Hedge Fund"

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

Hedge funds never go bust do they? :)

coasterfan

Actually, we Leftists simply don't believe anything that Republicans have to say with regards to the budget/deficit. Mostly because their economic policies have continually been wrong over the past 40 years.

A simple glance at history shows that the deficit has grown under every Republican president since 1980, and has shrunk under every single Democratic president since 1980.

You're going to lecture us, after presiding over the worst American recession in 90 years? The party hasn't changed their stance since 2008, yet we're supposed to believe those same policies are the answer? No thanks. I've seen that bag of poo, and I don't want it.

Darwin's choice

...National debt, 17.88 trillion dollars, almost doubled under obama's failures....! There is something for your "pride" of the failure!

jazzbo

" On January 20, 2009, the day he ( Obama) was sworn in, the debt was $10.626 trillion."

Contango

Now $17.5T. 'Almost' double.

Not including projected unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs which are upwards of $100T.

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

grumpy

"A simple glance at history shows that the deficit has grown under every Republican president since 1980, and has shrunk under every single Democratic president since 1980."

A simple look at what was actually spent in deficits for the last number of years since 2001 and what the US gov't forecasts deficit spending for the next few years. Then we can see how much was deficit spent each year instead of using words to generalize what actually happened. It is hard to spin when you show how much was actually spent in deficits each year.

2001 I can't seem to get past that there was a surplus... in other words we didn't spend more than we took in... that is until you look at the history of the National Debt which went up at the time we supposedly had a surplus. That is not possible without accounting tricks so I will just call it no deficit, a small deficit, or a small surplus.
2002 we had a $159 Billion deficit, 2003 a $304 Billion deficit, 2004 a $412 Billion deficit, 2005 a $318 Billion deficit, 06 a 248 Billion deficit, 07 a 161 Billion deficit, 08 a 458 Bullion deficit, in 09 a 1.4113 TRILLION deficit, in 10 a 1.294 TRILLION deficit, in 11 a 1.300 TRILLION deficit, in 12 a 1.807 TRILLION deficit,in 13 a 680 Billon deficit, in 14 a projected 649 Billion deficit, in 15 a projected 564 Billion deficit, in 16 a projected 432 Billion deficit,in 17 a projected 482 Billion deficit.

Those are the actual numbers spent or the US gov't projected numbers. Now we can see who spent how much more than we took in each year. We can't hide behind words and spin what we want others to think. It shows what the gov't actually spent and what the US gov't projects to spend in the next couple of years.

Make up your own minds which is better at spending what the gov't doesn't have, and have to borrow, and pay interest on each year as the gov't NEVER pays on the principal. At least for the last 70 years or so. Some people think this is good economics. My second paragraph is numbers and facts, the rest is commentary and some opinion. the differece is numbers are facts... words are commentary and opinion, when not backed by proven references. Some folks only use commentary and opinion.

Trigger from Erie

This is nonsense. Does the President control the purse strings? Absolutely not. That's Congress's job. Please take the time to look at how deficits have grown relative to the parties controlling the House and the Senate.

The Answer Person

Geez...you guys would spew your hatred and negativity even if they cut you with a sharp knife.

Donegan

It is only negative if you do nothing to stop yourself from falling into a deeper hole. Cutting your nose off to spite your face does nothing for your overall looks.

coasterfan

You would think that, after the recession of 2007-2008, that Republicans would do the same as George W. Bush did: go quietly to their room and ponder how badly they screwed America and Americans.

You would think that they would admit "ok, we screwed up" and come up with some new ideas, and meanwhile, let the other guys give it a shot.

They didn't do that. Instead, they have doubled down on all of their economic ideas and expected Americans to somehow forget just how BAD things were in 2007-2008. Meanwhile, they have stymied every attempt Obama and Democrats have made to fix the very problems Republicans caused.

In short, they have slowed the recovery. Which is a very good example of "cutting off your nose to spite your face". People like Cruz and Rubio care far more about their own political futures than they care for everyday Americans.

Donegan

Always a deflection. Bush has been gone for 6 years now. YOUR party has been in charge and we are in effect going deeper into that hole.
"they have doubled down on all of their economic ideas" More like doubled the debt in the last 6 years with little to nothing to show for it. 12.2 U6 unemployment number ring a bell? It should because it is exactly the same as when your god took office. Lets see, Double the debt, Same unemployment numbers means they have WASTED trillions.
But please by all means continue blaming Bush and your opposition while Rome burns, It sets a example of the only thing Democrats are good at. Blame and hypocrisy.

The Big Dog's back

So what are you Repubs "new ideas"?

Donegan

I'm not a Repub. Maybe if you people would quit electing the same two parties that created this mess into office and try something different like a third party you might get different results. But that's only logical something you would know nothing about.
"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and then expecting different results." A Einstein.

dontknowmuch

If the dems care as much as you claim they care... How come we have more entitlements going out. You dems want us to believe things are great these days, but the numbers aren't jiving. Reality is government types only care about themselves - dems and repubs both - and they. When we count unemployed - those looking and have given up together as one number then we have a true number, not sugar coated one we're fed each day

grumpy

Yes, it is much more better to let the gov't pay for things so the people don't have to... oh wait where is it that the gov't gets it's money from again?

SamAdams

Maybe some of these college students would have an easier time getting a good job and an easier time paying back their loans if they actually went to school for something PRODUCTIVE! If I'm going to have to pay for everybody else's college education (and if Obama gets his way, I am), then the least that could be done is to prohibit taxpayer dollars from buying degrees in "women's studies" or "art appreciation!"

freespeech1

Just wait till all these illegals flooding the borders by the thousands get their free education while our kids get left out in the cold. See the writing on the wall people! We are about to hit major crisis mode and our government isn't doing a dang thing to stop it.

SamAdams

I wish to hell I had even a LITTLE evidence that you are wrong. Unfortunately, I don't because you're right.

I would not, however, say that it's that the government "isn't doing a dang thing to stop it" that's the biggest part of the problem. It's the fact that the government is actively AIDING AND ABETTING from all corners!

freespeech1

Like I predicted obama will be more dangerous in his last term, he is living up to it.

FalconBall

The problem with a college education today is you must pay for the new dorms, new rec center, the new student union and possibly a couple of new classroom buildings so it's all shiny and new to recruit students. Simply, students should pay for instructors and staffing, the state should pay for dorms buildings and classroom buildings and alums, boosters and private business donations should pay for athletics and all the extras. This would make it affordable but simply wouldn't happen.

The New World Czar

Absolutely correct. This act translates into the "keep spending and we'll worry about it later" mentality. Arne Duncan even admits he doesn't know what it will cost...THE TAXPAYERS.

coasterfan

Unfortunately, FalconBall is entirely correct. Ohio has a LOT of colleges and the competition for students is high.

I don't have a problem with building new classrooms. I DO have a problem with paying the college president $400,000 per year, with a free mansion and car. And I DO have a problem with paying the football coach millions, while other collegiate sport programs at the same school are cut.

We shouldn't look to the state for help, at least not while Kasich in office. His cuts in funding to public universities were HUGE.

As goes the old story, you can invest in education, or you can invest in new prisons. One wonders why Republicans always choose to cut educational funding...

Darwin's choice

" shovel ready jobs....." ???????

obama/failing

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I agree with your first two paragraphs, coaster.

Contango

Re: "I DO have a problem with paying the college president $400,000 per year, with a free mansion and car. And I DO have a problem with paying the football coach millions,"

Welcome to taxpayer financed bureaucratic socialism, where waste, fraud, greed and abuse are the norm.

freethinker1

What is interesting about this conversation is that no one is placing the blame where it belongs. The cost of a college education has increased far above the rate of inflation over the past 30 years. And the loan companies charge exhorbitant fees.

So parents can't afford to send their kid to school without loans, and then kids end up paying several times over for that education.

Contango

Re: "The cost of a college education has increased far above the rate of inflation over the past 30 years."

And in your mind, lowing the interest rate or providing FREE education will cut the rate of increase?

Like it or not, even a socialistic society must ultimately bow to the laws of economics.

coasterfan

Re: interest rate, yes. I DO think that loan companies could survive by making a few less million each year off the backs of middle class Americans.

As for free education, Canada offers free college education and they seem to be doing just fine.

Societies based on runaway, out-of-control capitalism (GREED) also must bow to the laws of economics. America is turning into an Oligarchy, a Banana Republic. I can see why the 1% would be happy about that. What I don't get is why middle-class conservatives are sticking up for the very people who are giving them a financial enema.

Darwin's choice

" community organizer ", with no concept of the world without someone handing him something.

obama/failing

Contango

Re: "loan companies,"

> 90% of student loans are made directly by the govt.

Canada? A population of 35 million compared to the U.S. with 320 million?

Apples and oranges.

The Big Dog's back

When it doesn't fit in to your thinking then it is "apples and oranges".

Dr. Information

Its like comparing my penis to yours. Apples to oranges. Larger to smaller.

dontknowmuch

That was awesome... No reply from the resident sheep as usual

Darwin's choice

Lmao!!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"Free" (-ish, to the student) college exists in the U.S., too. It's called the U.S. Military, academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, parents/neighbors/parishes who send their own to school, charity, etc.

If you want the facts about free Canadian school, take it from a Canadian:

"A large portion of tuition is subsidized by the government here, but college (community college) still costs a couple of thousand dollars a year at least.

University (which is "college" in the US) costs about $5000/year in tuition on average (some programs are more). You also are responsible for paying for books, residence etc. on top of that. That's for Canadian citizens. Many schools charge more (sometimes MUCH MORE) to international students."

It would seem that despite "free" education and "free" health care the unemployment in Canada is 7% (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/...). We can presume they aren't using what we aren't either - the U6. Let's see despite all the nationalized services what Canadians observe about their own country?

- - - - - -

Poverty costs Canada $72-84 billion – for Ontarians this means between $2,299 and $2,895 every year, and for British Columbians, this equates to over $2,100 each year. (Ontario Association of Food Banks report and BC Cost of Poverty report)

In 2012, a record 872,379 Canadians used food banks each month, the highest level of food bank usage ever (Food Banks Canada). In 2012 the number was only slightly lower at 833,098 – which is still 23% above the 2008 levels (Hunger Count 2013).

3.1 million households pay more than 30% of their income on housing making them housing insecure, and 150,000 – 300,000 are visibly homeless, while 450,000 – 900,000 Canadians represent the ‘hidden’ homeless (Wellesley Institute, Precarious Housing in Canada Report, 2010)

McMaster University study (2010) finds a 21-year difference in life expectancy between the poorest neighbourhood and the wealthiest neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario.

$1 invested in early years (before the age of 6) saves $9 in future spending on health, welfare and justice systems (Report on Public Health in Canada).

Out of 25 developed countries, Canada ties for last place for failing to attain nine of UNICEF’s ten benchmark indicators of quality and access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision.

Poverty costs the Canada`s health care system $7.6 billion per year (Ontario Association of Food Banks)

Racialized groups and recent immigrants are more likely to be in poverty, have low paying jobs or be unemployed compared to the non-racialized Canadian population. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives & the Wellesley Institute)

1 in 3, or 33%, low-income children had at least one parent who worked full time throughout the year in 2008, and still lived in poverty (Statistics Canada, 2008)

Seven provinces have a poverty strategy (NL, NB, NS, QC, ON, MB, PE), and four provinces/territories are in the process of creating a poverty plan (YK, NT, NU, AB).

http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/ju...
- - - - - -

So why exactly are we comparing what we have or want to something that ultimately doesn't do things differently than us? Or if they do, they are worse such as in wait times as I illustrated in another article? This is what happens when people just pass laws like bowel movements with all the figuring they are doing "on the back end". Crappy logic and policy sure never sounded truer.

The Big Dog's back

hz, why didn't you list the cost of those things in the U.S.?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The cost of what? The premise to which I was responding was "Canada is better" to which I showed it isn't. The numbers are irrelevant because the outcomes are the same. Let's say we make all higher education cost the exact same amount here (which it doesn't as the National Average is $25,588 per year). Ok so now everyone gets degrees that are paid for in some other way than by themselves. How is that going to solve unemployment or poverty when Canada has them both still despite someone else always paying for everyone else's things?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If students want to, many Canadian universities' credentials are accepted in the U.S. They should take their U.S. government/citizen-paid/tax-granted loans and spend it in Canada if they want the best deal. We are outsourcing everything else, so let's do it here, too! Honestly. Why are any of you young people not doing this? Our country is very hostile to its own citizens, businesses, and students. So check this out and consider getting a nice, cool, and accredited degree elsewhere until we can pull our heads out of our asses-and-elephants enough to realize this.

http://www.internationalstudentl...

OSUAV8TER

Yeah that art degree at that private liberal arts college was a bad idea. You're qualified to sell me clothes at JC Pennys at the mall.

Dr. Information

Just read this column. Liberals want everything for free or next to free with no responsibility or stipulations to pay their fair share.

The Big Dog's back

Just read this column. Repubs want everything for free or next to free with no responsibility or stipulations to pay their fair share.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

What's a "fair share" other than a throwaway generalization? Is a fair share what the middle-class do to get skin in the game over ten years? Who decides what a "fair share" is or is that a power the President may also assume by his sheer discretion and no actual knowledge of its legality?

SamAdams

On the contrary: Conservatives know there's no such thing as a free lunch, and refuse (or should be refusing) to engage in government giveaways that give that impression!

You conveniently forget, Big Dog, that the "free" and the "no responsibility" is YOUR mantra, not that of those who actually ARE fiscally responsible.

I don't object to paying my own way. I object to paying YOURS.

KURTje

Meanwhile before some bloggers were born the USA leadership (still) gives our $$ to other countries for various reasons. Help the populace here? Naw...that would be Un-American.

Fordman

Lets just increase how long a child is in debt instead of lowering what it costs to go to college. What a moron!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

That takes more patience, understanding, and cooperation than what the White House and Congress can seem to muster currently. So for now I suppose we have plans which aren't thought through being thrown at a wall to see what sticks. Those that don't unfortunately make a mess. The mess isn't noodles, it's the lives of human beings.

Nemesis

"The cost of a college education has increased far above the rate of inflation over the past 30 years."

And why do you think that is? Why hasn't the price of cars, electronics, food, or even gas kept up with the price of college?

It's that same old law of supply and demand. Government financial aid increases demand, and the need-based model makes that demand incredibly elastic. If GM increased car prices, it sells fewer cars, if Samsung increases TV prices, it sells fewer TV's. A university never has to worry about how many students it will lose when it increases tuition, because the need-based formula will take up the slack.

"Unfortunately, FalconBall is entirely correct. Ohio has a LOT of colleges and the competition for students is high."

Wrong - competition for government money is high. There is no ECONOMIC competition between schools - quite the opposite - they race to have the HIGHEST, not the lowest price. They're in a tuition arms race - at least one CWRU board member once went on record that they had to raise their tuition because Carnegie Mellon raised theirs - it sounded like the alarmed exclamations about the mine shaft gap at the end of Dr. Strangelove.

"Yeah that art degree at that private liberal arts college was a bad idea. You're qualified to sell me clothes at JC Pennys at the mall"

...but why worry about spending tuition money wisely when it's not your money?

"alums, boosters and private business donations should pay for athletics and all the extras"

They do. That whole subject is a red herring - in the division 1 schools that spend big on athletics, athletics are a net profit center for them - i.e. they pay for themselves AND inject money back into the schools' general funds.

meowmix:"Better to see a kid go to college free of charge and become a productive tax-paying citizen than a drop-out living hand-to-mouth courtesy of the those of us who pay taxes."

Except that is NOT the dominant outcome of the financial aid programs. The dominant outcome is that universities are swollen with unqualified students pursuing dumbed-down degrees in nonsense majors, many of whom never graduate. They don't make careful, well considered decisions about their education because they have no skin in the game.

"I just don't get the resentment of people begrudging anyone trying for a better life."

No one begrudges them that - we begrudge them asking us to pay for it. I worked my way through an expensive private university. Because I was investing my own hard earned money, I chose a major that would endow me with skills employers demanded, rather than pursuing my own flights of fancy or immersion in political grudges. I COMPLETED my degree because I wanted a return on those sunk costs.

middleright:"The only way out of a student loan is to die, so they aren't high risk."

A student loan to pursue a political science, studies, or art history degree is VERY high risk. Just because the debt remains on the books doesn't mean it gets paid back in a profitable manner.

Dr. Information

Didn't read the entire thing Nem but the price of college has gone up because of demand. Like you said. That shift happened 30 years ago when technology changed which created a whole set of jobs requiring a college education.

The days of graduating HS and thinking you are going to land this stellar job with no further education are over with.

Liberals don't like this. They want GEDers to make what 4 year degreers are making because, well...in their crazy world that seems fair.