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Thread: What Scotland learned from free college

  1. #11
    Retired Admin Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrary View Post
    Education is not just about getting a "job". While there has to be some limits on how many can be in a program at one time, we cant view education as only about "money", education has value well beyond getting a paycheck.
    Not if taxpayers are funding it. If the public is paying, then they deserve a return on their investment. If someone wants to get a degree in something stupid like gender studies or 18th century literature, let them do it on their own dime.
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  2. #12
    Veteran Member Kontrary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Not if taxpayers are funding it. If the public is paying, then they deserve a return on their investment. If someone wants to get a degree in something stupid like gender studies or 18th century literature, let them do it on their own dime.
    Yes even when taxpayers are funding it....the society is improved overall by this. There are no strings attached beyond meeting qualifications to get in and stay in the program..once they complete it, they dont "owe" anyone for it. They can get a medical degree here and then move to another country and be a doctor if they choose to.

    Public funding of education is done because education itself is a good thing and while you may not see the value in gender studies or 18th century literature, there is value there, the value does not rely on you knowing it exists to exist.
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  3. #13
    Veteran Member TNVolunteer73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    College kids are not known for financial savvy and wisdom. Whether tuition is free or astronomically expensive, public colleges should not admit students to majors where jobs do not exist or are scarce.
    My daughters got scholorships plus the J.O.B. Scholorship.. work 40 hours pay cash for college.
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  4. #14
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Bernie Sanders loves to talk about Denmark's liberal policies, including free higher education. But for his plan to make tuition free at public colleges, there's a better comparison: Scotland, which abolished tuition fees in 2000.

    "The effects of that decision are still under debate. Cheaper college meant students in Scotland were more likely to apply to college than students in England, where tuition was increasing, and they were more likely to study subjects that didn't promise a lucrative salary after graduation. The Scottish government claims its system is the most generous in the United Kingdom. But low-income students still end up with relatively high levels of student debt. So there are also questions about whether the free tuition policy really is as progressive as its supporters say."

    "College applications dropped by about 30 percent in England as tuition fees went up, and they rose by about 24 percent in Scotland after up-front fees were eliminated in 2001. Students in Scotland were much more likely to study subjects with worse prospects for income and employment after graduation. When they weren't paying to attend college, it seemed like money didn't matter as much when they were choosing a profession. If your goal is to get more students to enter public service and other lower-paying professions, then that might be a good result."

    "The main criticism of Scotland's free tuition is that it's regressive: Students still take on some debt to pay living expenses even though tuition is free. And the burden of that debt falls more heavily on poor students than others. Although students can get up to 7,250 per year (or $11,200) from the Scottish government to help fund their living expenses, most of that is in the form of loans, not grants. And perhaps because students from wealthier families find it easier to pay their living expenses without government help, students from poorer families are more likely to borrow."

    The most important question is whether the Pell Grant would continue to get significant political support in a world where college tuition is "free" or if the US, like Scotland, would begin pushing low-income students toward student loans.



    What Scotland learned from making college tuition free - Vox

    I don't support "free college". I support a progressive system that makes it possible for anyone to get a college education -- regardless of whether they were born into a wealthy family.

  5. #15
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    If so, students must be warned -- repeatedly. And I do not agree that you can argue the glut of law schools and students, e.g., has some intrinsic value for society or the students apart from employment.

    We need to spend public funds teaching our kids skills they can support themselves with, such as skilled trades.
    I agree, but that's far different than saying that we shouldn't let kids study philosophy because there are no philosophy jobs. Philosophy majors also become lawyers and entrepreneurs. It's saying that there should be public funded education in whatever field one wants to study.

    If people can pursue their study to the point of expertise, I think we all benefit immensely. Even if that means the ones that want to study art (ahem) get to do so for free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    The most important question is whether the Pell Grant would continue to get significant political support in a world where college tuition is "free" — or if the US, like Scotland, would begin pushing low-income students toward student loans.
    A couple of things: 1. There's nothing wrong with going into debt for an advantage that will increase your earnings over your entire lifetime. Current studies show that any undergraduate degree will do this.

    2. In California, at least, the Pell Grant is the same as basic tuition at a Cal State. For qualifying students, tuition is essentially free because of that fact. This is true despite the fact that California has followed the lead of other states in defunding public higher education in favor of more prison spending. Other states could do the same.

    Personally, I've never favored completely free college. The major difference between higher ed and K-12 education in the US is the level of risk for the students. Most people need to have skin in a game before they take it seriously...whcih leads me to point three:

    3. In the UK, students at the secondary level already endure serious risk as they move through the upper forms because they have to take GCE qualifying exams for university. That is, if they don't pass what used to be called "A-level" exams in their chosen subject area, they can't get into a higher ed program in that field. Most college-bound Brits take multiple GSCE exams (or the equivalent in Scotland) so they have to earn their way into university--that's the gate keeper rather than money.
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  7. #17
    Veteran Member Eve1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrary View Post
    Education is not just about getting a "job". While there has to be some limits on how many can be in a program at one time, we cant view education as only about "money", education has value well beyond getting a paycheck.
    While a well rounded education is wonderful unless you were born into money and can count on your Trust fund to support you in the life your parents had made you accustomed I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS TO WORK and be productive and support themselves. Making as much money as they can in hopefully a job they like or at least don't hate (at least don't hate to the point it makes you miserable). I say you wanna love your job if you can but you must make a living at it or keep what you love to do as a hobby. Then when you retire you can do your hobby full time.
    Last edited by Eve1; 8th November 2016 at 08:28 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eve1 View Post
    While a well rounded education is wonderful unless you were born into money and can count on your Trust fund to support you in the life your parents had made you accustomed I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT GOAL IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS TO WORK and be productive and support themselves. Making as much money as they can in hopefully a job they like or at least don't hate to the point they make themselves miserable. I say you wanna love your job if you can but you make a living at it or keep what you love to do a hobby until you retire.
    Every undergraduate major will increase students' earnings over the course of their lifetimes. What the OP says is that lower education costs encourage people to major in things they like rather than in the thing that will earn them the most money.

    Right now the biggest economic rewards go not to people who make things or serve others but to those who move money from place to place. That's f-ed up.
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  9. #19
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    A couple of things: 1. There's nothing wrong with going into debt for an advantage that will increase your earnings over your entire lifetime. Current studies show that any undergraduate degree will do this.

    2. In California, at least, the Pell Grant is the same as basic tuition at a Cal State. For qualifying students, tuition is essentially free because of that fact. This is true despite the fact that California has followed the lead of other states in defunding public higher education in favor of more prison spending. Other states could do the same.

    Personally, I've never favored completely free college. The major difference between higher ed and K-12 education in the US is the level of risk for the students. Most people need to have skin in a game before they take it seriously...whcih leads me to point three:

    3. In the UK, students at the secondary level already endure serious risk as they move through the upper forms because they have to take GCE qualifying exams for university. That is, if they don't pass what used to be called "A-level" exams in their chosen subject area, they can't get into a higher ed program in that field. Most college-bound Brits take multiple GSCE exams (or the equivalent in Scotland) so they have to earn their way into university--that's the gate keeper rather than money.

    The problem with our current grant system is that it is only available to the dirt poor. Children from working class families who aren't poor, but can't afford to provide a college education to their kids are just shit out of luck. Interest free student loans used to be available to those folks, but interest rates on student loans now that they have been privatized amount to usury.

  10. #20
    Moderator HCProf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Not if taxpayers are funding it. If the public is paying, then they deserve a return on their investment. If someone wants to get a degree in something stupid like gender studies or 18th century literature, let them do it on their own dime.
    I agree. I have seen too many of my friends, who paid 6 figures for a education for their kids, only to see them work for 20K a year due to program choice. Many of those majors need advanced degrees as well.

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