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Benevolent overlord thinks college too expensive, thinks way to address it is more financial aid

by: Eric B.

Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 16:00:00 PM EDT


The governor noticed that college is really expensive today, and had some thoughts on how to handle it ... none of which actually make a college education any cheaper.

"Tuition has gone up a lot and there are two or three things that we need to do. One is: we need to keep working with the universities on managing their cost structures. We need to look at more need-based financial aid. But (we also) need to be more innovative," Snyder said.

"One opportunity that's really made a huge difference – and we're not using it nearly as much as we can – is dual enrollment."

Well, it's not really the place of state government to work with universities on their cost structure. The people who are supposed to do that are the boards of trustees and regents, who are either elected or are gubernatorial appointees. So, perhaps what he's talking about here are appointing people to university boards who do their job rather than to help campaign contributors pad their resumes (if these peopl really wanted to do their jobs properly, they'd stop availing themselves of board perks and taking a long, hard look at what kind of compensation is doled out to administrators and sports). As for dual enrollment, how does the governor plan to see these costs paid for if people start using it more?

The way to actually deal with higher costs of higher education, however, is to simply fund it adequately at the state level. The burden of paying for it has shifted since the early 70s when Reagan killed the idea of free college and accelerated in the last decade as no one wanted to be adult enough to say that we'd cut taxes too hard and instead cut money to colleges and local governments.

By the way, it's time to once again remind everyone that one thing Jennifer Granholm did to alleviate this growing burden was to let college students qualify for food assistance. That might have been much, but it probably helped a lot of people going to school to not work that third part-time job to pay for school and rent and books and food.

Eric B. :: Benevolent overlord thinks college too expensive, thinks way to address it is more financial aid
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