THE NEWS HUB: Public Universities May Jump on Bernie Sanders’ Free Tuition Bill

Career College Central Summary:

  • In January, president Barack Obama said that he wanted community college to be free for all Americans. Just now, Democratic president candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has proposed a bill to make all public higher education free. These proposals have come as college enrollment in the United States is declining, having peaked in spring 2011, and college tuition continues to climb. Further influencing the political landscape is the crackdown on for-profit colleges and universities, such as the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges and ITT Educational Services.
  • And, more and more vocally, critics are complaining about the huge endowments of private universities and the high pay of college administrators.
  • Is America about to see a huge sea change in its higher education? With the formation of the G.I. Bill in 1944, higher education quickly transformed from a social club for wealthy white men into a network of education and training for broad swaths of the middle class. But, along with increased access and services, public higher education has also experienced skyrocketing costs due to competitive markets that emphasized "profits" and growth. Will the next few years be the end of this "profiteering era" of higher education? Will a metaphorical tombstone read 1945 – 2016?
  • A decline is beginning that might force colleges and universities to jump on the Obama/Sanders free higher education train. For example, according to Bloomberg, more law schools, most recently the University of Hawaii, have begun making the LSAT optional in order to bolster falling application numbers. Graduate schools are also struggling. As an improving economy and the eroding value of a college degree eat away at demand for college education from both ends, institutions of higher education may begin to bite the bullet and choose a "sure bet" under government control than increasing risk on the competitive market.

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THE NEWS HUB

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