The President’s proposal for free community college for anyone who wants to try it is his latest attempt to turn the USA into a European-style socialist nation. It’s basically welfare with no eligibility requirements, a handout that would be available even to the wealthy. Here’s what else is wrong.
First, there is no “free” government money, it’s all our tax dollars, a bill that will fall on working people and seniors who may or may not benefit from it. Since 25% of the cost must be paid by states there would be tax increases at both Federal and state levels.
His plan sets a pretty low bar for this “free” money too, just a 2.5 GPA for what is essentially a full 2 year scholarship. Wow! How about 2.5 for the first term then rising to 2.7 or 2.8? A 2.5 GPA won’t impress potential employers at all.
There’s no “free” government money without government control either. What starts out as a basic set of conditions that participating schools must meet will evolve into Common Core 2.0 and ultimately Federal takeover of public higher education. Considering what a lousy job the Feds have done with public schools we don’t want to go there. Colleges never needed remedial math and English courses until Washington started dictating how schools should run.
The “college for all” mantra is a socialist “one-size-fits-all” solution that doesn’t. College isn’t right for everyone and everyone in college isn’t right for the nation. The US also needs skilled tradespeople as I’ve mentioned before. Inevitably some people will jump for it just because it’s free, and every person who takes a couple of courses and quits will have wasted the teachers’ time and our money.
The plan would require more employees in already bloated government agencies to administer it. Undoubtedly the politicized IRS would be involved with the finances and the Department of Education would quickly come up with another tracking database. Big Brother will always trade free stuff for your freedom.
There’s some question as to whether there are enough community colleges and/or space in existing ones to meet the potential demand. Would reasonable entrance requirements suddenly become “discrimination”?
There’s no provision to exclude people who are in the country illegally. Since when should free college be a reward for breaking the law?
Are there alternatives? Yes, and I’ve already suggested some. Industries already cooperate with community colleges to develop a modern workforce. With corporate tax reform and pro-US policies we could incentivize more apprenticeships and co-op programs from businesses. For the poor, an associate degree might be part of the “I” (independence) phase of my ISIC welfare proposal, but so could a trade school. Scholarships are available for students who have demonstrated achievement. Military service has been an option to earn money for college for years. Unlike the “free for all” plan, these all require a commitment on the part of the students and commitment is what makes successful graduates.