What is missing from Senator Warren’s plan is reducing the COST of a college education. I graduated from NC State university in the mid ’90s. We did not have A/C in the dorms, now they have A/C in every dorm. We did not have a fancy student union, now they have one that cost $120 million. We did not have a fancy library, now they have one with a robot to fetch books at a cost of $180 million. Over time, many other amenities have been added. None of thse are free. I was able to work part time and over the summer to pay for tuition because I didn’t have a lot of the things that are there now. I would not be able to afford to attend NC State debt free today like I could 20 years ago. This is not about lack of state support, it’s not about a crisis in student loans, it is almost entirely about billions of investments put into NC State that are mostly LUXURIES. This is why college has become unaffordable and I haven’t even gotten into the money wasted on athletics and facilities for athletes.
Down the road UNC-Chapel Hill was busted running fake classes (literally they never met, had no professor, had thousands of grades handed out by a secretary) and as a result the head of that department for overseeing 18+ years of fake courses was allowed to retire with a pension valued around $150k/year! This is outrageous. The person’s actions had a major research I university put on probation for academic fraud by their accrediting organization and he got to retire with a six figure pension. Reduce the waste, fraud and luxury in colleges now and maybe we can look at how to offer some help…but right now I think it is not in the best interests of anyone to pay for tuition to these bloated universities.
I am much more open to considering free tuition to community colleges which (to my knowledge) have not engaged in such excesses.