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Is College Still Affordable?

Updated on December 25, 2015

College Affordability

When it comes to education, there is a gaping chasm between what America promises versus what it delivers. In the unending search to continue feeding the meritocracy a conflict arises where those with the ability to achieve are unable to do so because of the prohibitive costs of a college education. Does this mean that only those with means will be able to participate in the meritocracy?

Politicians Weigh In

Even politicians have been weighing in on the campaign stump. The Democrats have their set of solutions, whereas the Republicans approach the problem from an entirely different vantage point. At the end of the day though, will any of the tabled proposals ease the burden on the shoulders of those among us that are least capable of dealing with college tuition costs?


On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton proposes Pumping 350 billion dollars into higher education, making attendance at in-state colleges debt free. For private schools however, she would maintain the status quo with tuition payments being supported by loans but at far lower interest rates than the current ones. Also, the monthly repayment amounts would be based on income (Income Based Repayment aka IBR), With a cap at 10% of the yearly income with complete debt forgiveness after 20 years beyond graduation. Of course, our neighbors in the north - Canada - have something similar which allows for eradication of student loan debt 7 years on from graduation as part of a declaration of bankruptcy.


Some readers will note that IVR is already in existence Under the Obama administration. Unfortunately, because of misinformation and difficult requirements for acceptance into the program, the program has not been administered while and it has become a double edged sword so that it is more difficult for students to escape repayment even Monday to go for bankruptcy. The trick will be figuring out how to streamline the process so that borrowers understand the terms and lenders don't feel that it harms their bottom line to the extent that they resist participation.


Bernie Sanders approaches the problem from a very different vantage point from Hillary Clinton's. He aimed to get Wall Street to pay more in support of better and higher quality instruction in college. Alongside that, he wants to completely remove tuition at the undergraduate level and any fees as public colleges and universities. In the case of loans, he would cut interest rates in half so that borrowing rates with move closer to those of the government borrowing costs. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would make sure that states continue along their present course of spending to support higher education.


On the Republican side, as you can guess, there is a rejection of asking States to continue supporting education, or asking them to shoulder moral of the associated costs. This C this line of thinking as part of the bloated government problem.


Republican Marco Rubio has taken a pretty interesting fact on the matter. He is looking to highlight eLearning program such as MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses). Marco Rubio sees the existing higher education system as being run by a couple of colleges and universities. along with being updated outdated, the need for tweaks and improvements is paramount and MOOCS would provide an inexpensive and fleet of foot solution to the problem. With MOOCs, Student with sign up for only courses of interest, without a need to take any other courses. This island way out higher education is far less expensive and far less time consuming than the current mode.


Another Rubio proposal is human capital contracts, Otherwise known as student investment plans. If a student were to adopt for this, they would approach any in a number of certified private investment boobs as an alternative to a loan. The investment group would pay the tuition but in return receive a percentage of future income for a. Of time after graduation, for example 4% a year for 12 years.


Of course it wouldn't be as simple as stated because the investment group would have the right of refusal, selecting only college majors that would more than likely have a greater possibility of job prospects and income going forward. Another problem is that currently there is no cap on what percentage of future income is required in exchange for the tuition payment. There are some that would take as high as 25% of future income for multiple decades. Voices of caution have responded that these plans could easily cost for more than interest payments for college tuition loans.


Marco Rubio's plan would take the federal government off the hook, meanwhile the Democratic proposals would rely more on the government to take the burden off the individual whether that means at the federal government but stepped into that gap or not.

States and Local Government

States and localities have drastically reduced their support for higher education, leaving the federal government with an even greater burden than before. In the past, States relied on a combination of reasonable pricing for tuition, and need-based assistance to offset prices. With lower tax revenues, creating an inability to offset the rise in tuition costs, most states are receiving bad grades in the Measuring Up national report card on performance in higher education.


Many experts fear that the Democratic plan which includes flooding the higher education system with increased funding will create a short term reduction intuition only. The offices, they say, should be placed on getting colleges and universities to streamline their operations such that costs are reduced, and the education provides better results as in job prospects for college graduates. This same experts believe that without addressing these fundamental problems, any flood of money will only cover a runaway problem and in only a very short term fashion.


Other considerations on the table are free community college, and competency based education with a student received credit for current career achievements that demonstrate reliability in a particular field of study. Once these credits are taken into consideration, following a proper assessment of competency, the requirements 2 degree completion are lessened, therefore resulting in a shorter course of study. Experts also suggest promoting heavenly four-year degree completion, As currently the average completion time for a four year degree is 5 years.

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