April 24, 2014

"UW-Madison professors propose making first two years of college free."

"Students could have their first two years of public university paid for by the federal government, according to a plan proposed by University of Wisconsin-Madison professors."

That's the headline and the first sentence of a news article. Somehow that pairing made me laugh.

67 comments:

Chuck said...

The Obamadegree. Could be better than an Obamaphone.

Big Mike said...

I'm all for it, providing the students major in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering.

Mike said...

I'm surprised it gets the "economics" tag! You really have to be economically illiterate to NOT laugh at that pairing.

"It's free!" "The Feds are paying for it." Sheesh.

chuck said...

It would be better if the professors volunteered to teach the first two years for free.

Rae said...

What this country needs is a mass boycott of higher tuieducation, until tuition costs come down to something that the lower economic classes can afford without putting their future up as collateral.

David said...

“Its not right for the University of Phoenix to charge students $25,000 a year and pay for it all with financial aid that came from taxpayers,” she said. “So we take all that money and simply redistribute it in the public system, and it turns out we have more than enough money.”

Or we could let the taxpayers keep the money, and cut the cost of providing the education by an equivalent amount.

Don't like that? How about havlsies? 50% reduction in taxes, 50% reduction in costs?

I don't think they would like that either.

Richard Dolan said...

"Somehow that pairing made me laugh."

Laugh? If the feds are willing to pay for the first two years, why not all four? And, naturally, a student can't get along with a car, so throw that in too. And a place to live and .... Why, it's the Life of Julia -- I remember seeing it someplace. Julia's life takes place in a mad, mad, mad, mad world all right, but laughing isn't quite the right response.

Better: Julia and all you women of Madison, don't cry for me, but for yourselves and your children.

MadisonMan said...

How many administrators would be hired to oversee this?

I'd say that two years for an Associate's Degree sounds like something you'd get at a Community College.

Why is a UW-Madison Professor trying to water down the brand?

madAsHell said...

Better yet.....you are only paid for teaching 300 and 400 level classes.

This proposal comes from the college-is-a-right crowd, and my job is a sinecure.

RecChief said...

It's interesting that "Students could have their first two years of public university paid for by the federal government," = Free in the minds of 'academics'.

avwh said...

There's an editorial in the WSJ today about Obama's program that essentially makes college "free" (on the taxpayers' tab) if you go to work for govt or a non-profit after graduating.

All student loans are forgiven (without causing taxable income for the forgiveness) after 10 years, and students only have to pay 10% of their income a year until they're forgiven.

No wonder college is so expensive - the taxpayers will pick up the tab, as long as graduates stay poor!

Eric said...

No self interest here.

tim maguire said...

Take everybody else's free money and give it to us. That's the big plan.

Good luck with that.

Marshal said...

Its not right for the University of Phoenix to charge students $25,000 a year and pay for it all with financial aid that came from taxpayers,” she said. “So we take all that money and simply redistribute it in the public system, and it turns out we have more than enough money.”

The underlying rationale is both shocking and dispiriting. Supposedly intelligent people have so internalized the principle that taxpayer dollars belong exclusively to them they don't even bother to argue the point.

JPS said...

I get really weary of people saying "free" when they mean "paid for at great expense by other people."

jimbino said...

Wow, I'd go back for two free years. They say that college is a great place to meet chicks.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Free now means "someone else pays for it." I guess Sandra Fluke sealed the deal on that one.

Maybe Newspeak can be fun.

Joe said...

My youngest daughter is getting all four years for free--she received a scholarship for excellent grades.

elkh1 said...

Who pay the Fed to pay students to spend two years in the UW indoctrination camp?

Proposal: college professors donate their salaries to make first two years of college free.

"UW-Madison professors propose making first two years of college free" to guarantee their own employment and salary raises.

elkh1 said...

Big Mike said...
I'm all for it, providing the students major in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering.

That would be waging wars on Women Studies, Ethnic Studies, Victims Studies, Grievances Studies...

chrisnavin.com said...

Cradle to grave, tax and spend, subsidize and infantilize.

TosaGuy said...

“Its not right for the University of Phoenix to charge students $25,000 a year and pay for it all with financial aid that came from taxpayers,” she said. “So we take all that money and simply redistribute it in the public system, and it turns out we have more than enough money.”

Not going to defend the diploma mill that is UoP, but the esteemed professor either doesn't or care to understand that fed aid money follows the student and the student gets to pick where it is spent.

AJ Lynch said...

I think Ms. Goldrick-Rab was a subject on your blog once before.

pst314 said...

"Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall, associate professors of educational policy studies..."

So: Not real professors, but ed school idiots.

n.n said...

Think of the children. Send us more money.

They could also address the diverse causes of progressive inflation. We don't need an education "reform" masquerading as a solution, which not only preserves, but actually exacerbates the status quo.

I would venture to guess that these are the same people who perceive human life as a commodity.

Larry J said...

If you think college is expensive now, just wait until it's "free".

University professors in favor of even more feeding from the public tit. Imagine that.

Jane the Actuary said...

Oh, fun.

so does the plan envision that students get the free two years at public universities only, not at private ones? Have they built into their model the fact that virtually no one will attend a private university for these first to years under this system?

Are they relying on a voucher system in which a fixed sum of money follows the student, or do they envision that whatever the school declares to be the cost of the first two years, the feds hand over? Can't see any unintended consequences there!

JimB said...

Great idea. To make it feasible, the instructors in first two years' classes must be unpaid volunteers.

mccullough said...

The federal government already does this at West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs. Also, if you serve in the military, you are eligible for some college tuition reimbursement. And some ROTC students get tuition money as well.

Jay said...

"Free"

And these professors are probably impeccably credentialed, I'm sure.

Iapetus said...

"And if you look at the data it’s actually pretty clear that even the middle class is having a hard time"

Cut faculty salaries by one-third and limit future pay raises to the inflation rate, eliminate half the high paid administrators that have been added in recent years, and stop offering unnecessary amenities like climbing walls to students. Increase semester course loads for students to reduce college degree programs from 4 years to 3, thereby reducing undergraduate living expenses by 1/4. Problem solved.

eric said...

Long before we need a college education, we need food, clothing and shelter.

Let's have the Federal Government build us all a free house, paid for by other people!

Jane the Actuary said...

Oh, here are the details: http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/sites/default/files/ssn_key_findings_goldrick-rab_and_kendall_on_a_free_two_year_college_option.pdf

The schools get a per-student payment set somewhat below the current average cost for public universities, and students get extra cash for living expenses.

Curious George said...

Better yet, fuck whitey and Asians and just give free college to blacks and hispanics. We could pay for all four years AND graduate studies.

Well, not to the University of Michigan.

Unknown said...

you need a "no such thing as a free lunch" tag.

cubanbob said...

Just cut all government employee's salaries and benefits in half and the entitlement state problems are mostly solved. It's not like that many of them can actually earn more in the private sector even at half-pay.

Renee said...

Would the accept students and keep them hanging on until the two years are up, when these students can't keep up with the work.

It's free for the college too! No incentive to give a bad grade.

Marty Keller said...

"Paid for by the federal government." LOL. Have to point out (over and over and over again) that the government has no money unless it takes it from taxpayers or prints it. This sloppy thinking contributes to the nation's fiscal folly, and permits these kinds of loony proposals.

Joe said...

Okay, but with the following caveats:

1) Professors must teach the classes.

2) No professor salary may exceed 120% the median salary of a graduate in that department working in that specific field in private industry.

3) The ratio of administrators to students cannot exceed that from 1980.

4) Administrative salaries, especially those of the deans and president, would be clamped.

5) For a university to be eligible, they cannot be a member of the NCAA, offer sports scholarships nor any extramural sports.

Larry Nelson said...

“Its not right for the University of Phoenix to charge students $25,000 a year and pay for it all with financial aid that came from taxpayers,”


Is she talking about government insured student loans that have to be paid back?

So two years of remedial courses to help students get to where high school kids were 30 years ago.

These professors understands that:
1. The education finance bubble is coming fast, threatening their jobs.
2. Due to online courses, 50% of the colleges in America will no longer exist in 15 years, also threatening their jobs.
3. Taxpayer funded freebies make their jobs more secure.

PB Reader said...

the bad ideas really pile up.

PB Reader said...

better to privatize public education.

Alexander said...

"we take all that money and simply redistribute it..."

Never seen a better summation of the left. Someone else has something, I don't like it, I take it, I give it to the people I do.

Sorun said...

"Better yet, fuck whitey and Asians and just give free college to blacks and hispanics.

I remember such a proposal in Madison back in the 80s.

Peter said...

If students aren't willing to pay for their education then why should anyone else be willing to pay for it?

The teaching productivity of higher ed. (output per $) has been declining for decades. It should be a scandal, but instead it's papered over with taxpayer cash.

One solution might be to separate teaching from credentialing: remove the credit-hour requirement from graduation (or at least reduce it drastically) and replace it (at least to some extent) with comprehensive exams.

JHapp said...

I'm with Chuck, professors take a 50% pay cut.

RecChief said...

The federal government already does this at West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs. Also, if you serve in the military, you are eligible for some college tuition reimbursement. And some ROTC students get tuition money as well.

That's a whole different type of "public service" from what they are talking about.

khesanh0802 said...

God it's hard to come up with a comment that is snarky enough for these two. If I were Ann I would be embarrassed to be associated with people as dumb as this even at the distance of graduate school.

Anglelyne said...

elkh1: Big Mike said...
"I'm all for it, providing the students major in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering."

That would be waging wars on Women Studies, Ethnic Studies, Victims Studies, Grievances Studies...


Aux armes, citoyens!

Peter said...

Part of this is fallout from the "everyone should go to college" push. One of the result is a high flunk rate. And much of that flunk rate is in the first two years.

Flunked students are left with the memory of having failed, and a student debt that can't be paid off with increased earnings.

Transferring the bill for those first two years would ease the plight of the flunk-outs, but that has inintended consequences.

One is that if students know they'll be protected from the financial sting of flunking out they may not work as hard; indeed, some may just goof off until the free ride is over.

Another is that colleges will be less careful in selecting students.

An alternate approach would be set interest rates for student loans based on risk: students with low GPAs, or who are studying for degrees with little economic value, would pay more.

gadfly said...

So these professors are willing to take a pay cut in order that taxpayers could afford such a tax increase? After all, the cause is just!

I am not holding my breath.

Illuninati said...

Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall have developed "a plan that would reallocate the financial aid money spent at for-profit universities and private universities back to the public sector..." In other words they want to nationalize college education. I'm sure this plan will thrill all the lefties.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Big Mike said...

I'm all for it, providing the students major in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering.

1) Fuck No. Let the market, not the government, decide what majors are needed.

2) If you must do this, you'd better set some pretty rigorous standards for exactly what will be taught, otherwise "physics" will include classes such as Quantum Chromodynamic Studies, or How the Blue Quarks Systematically Oppress the Red and Green Quarks.

t-man said...

What is in the f'in water in Madison? This should be called the unicorn and skittles plan.

The plan requires discontinuing federal aid to students at all private colleges and universities. The constituency against this proposal is huge, and well organized.

The Godfather said...

When I was living in DC years ago, the University of the District of Columbia (yes, there really is such an institution) used to run radio ads that urged youngsters to enroll in UDC because "A college degree is a license to make money".

It probably wasn't true then, and it certainly isn't true now, but public policy continues to be based on the assumption that it is.

I have a cheaper solution. Back in the day, people who graduated from college DID get good jobs. But so did people from families named Adams, and Rockefeller, and Winthrop, and Abbott, and so forth. So let's just give every high school graduate (or attendee?) the option to choose a new surname. That ought to work about as well.

Chuck said...

avwh said...
"There's an editorial in the WSJ today about Obama's program that essentially makes college "free" (on the taxpayers' tab) if you go to work for govt or a non-profit after graduating.
"All student loans are forgiven (without causing taxable income for the forgiveness) after 10 years, and students only have to pay 10% of their income a year until they're forgiven.
"No wonder college is so expensive - the taxpayers will pick up the tab, as long as graduates stay poor!"

It is a terrific editorial, that one in today's Journal. Here's one of the best quotes:

"For aspiring community organizers who go to college and then grad school before moving into a job that the government defines as public service, the forgiven debt can be $150,000 or more, courtesy of the taxpayer. And unlike with some other federal programs, when the government forgives the debt of one of the exalted class of nonprofit or government workers, the do-gooder doesn't have to report it as income to the IRS. Who wouldn't want to pick up $150,000 tax-free?"

In other words, a federally-funded program to turn out community activists, like Barack Obama. They get loaned very large amounts, they go into officially-favored work (with degrees in African-American studies, Social Work, Political Science, Dance, etc.) and become part of the public sector/community organizer complex. Where the debts are all forgiven and written off back to the federal taxpayers. For Democrats, that is a win/win/win.

Real American said...

sure, why not. there's more than enough money if you ignore the trillions debt and unfunded liabilities coming down the pike.

How about the federal government institutes a 90% tax on the salaries and benefits of university professors, administrators, executives and staff to pay for this wonderful new FREE program. After all, they'll be the only ones actually benefiting from it.

Real American said...

I bet that "Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall, associate professors of educational policy studies at UW-Madison" went to school for many years before they finally because that fucking stupid.

Unknown said...

Sure, let the federal government take on this new financial obligation. They're running a huge surplus, aren't they? Oh, wait...

David in Cal

Christy said...

Tennessee Governor Haslam has proposed in his next year's budget free community or technical college for all - 2 years worth. What's up with Yankees wanting the feds involved?

Alex said...

I'd be ok with that if it were for engineering.

stlcdr said...

How much would you spend on something if you aren't paying for it?

Rusty said...

mccullough said...
The federal government already does this at West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs.

Yes. And the admission standards are beyond the ability of most people on this blog. Plus there's that pesky having to serve your country for a number of years afterward with shitty pay and a lot of hard work and the very real possibility of getting killed.

SGT Ted said...

It's interesting that "Students could have their first two years of public university paid for by the federal government," = Free in the minds of 'academics'.

It is also interesting that these are considered "smart", educated people.

Normal Range said...

Anyone familiar with universities and students understands that a good portion of student loans is spent on beer and pizza.

Two years of free beer and pizza is only reasonable.

Normal Range said...

Sign up for ROTC and all four years are free.

Drago said...

Normal Range said...
Sign up for ROTC and all four years are free.

But only if you believe that 4 to 8 years of military service wherein you voluntarily give up some of your rights is to be considered "free".