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Report Fails 49 States on College Affordability

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Posted on Dec 3, 2008

The just-released report found that only one state, California, deserved a passing grade in the area of college affordability.

Because of its inexpensive community colleges, California was the only state to earn a passing grade in the affordability category of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s annual report. Just as the demand for quality education is expected to spike, too many students are priced out of college, the center found.

San Jose Mercury News:

California’s vast system of inexpensive community colleges has earned the state the top ranking—and the only passing grade in the nation—in a new analysis of America’s college affordability.

But that distinction may be short lived as the state proposes tuition increases at its system of 109 community colleges and eyes budget cuts at its four-year universities. Until then, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education concludes that California schools’ easy access is unique across the country.

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By Folktruther, December 5, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

As class inequality increases historically, the disparity between the Educated Elite and the population will increase.  And this increaase is not supported only by conservatives, but by fake Progressives as well. The increase in the tuition of colleges and universities in Britain was passed by the LABOR party.  The huge increase in tuition in US public universities could not occur without Dem consent.

What is surprising is Yellowbird and others blaming FOREIGNERS for the deliberate increase in class inequality by the AMERICAN power structure. This diversion of blame is self-defeating and parochial.  It is why the population is losing the class power struggle with the Dem and Gop powerful.

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By yellowbird2525, December 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

you are totally correct. Here in Oregon, where all kinds of building is going on; just finished a “mini mall” in So Oregon; today in Central Point brand new huge apartment complex going in; & all over the valley zones changed from 2 home lots; to putting 6 homes on it as “so many people are coming in”; (so much for immigration control!) water laws “supposedly” expired this year; & of course, free college tuition to everyone: EXCEPT of course, US citizens! And anyone at all can now be a “teacher” don’t even need a degree; hello predators! so nice of you to stop in! all with full knowledge & consent of the USA Government! gosh, if you weren’t watching the TV & news: similar to Saddam Hussain having WMD over & over & over & over; & his name & the towers going up in same sentence; why: you wouldn’t even know of the “so called” credit problem now would you! (guess where YOUR jobs all went to!!!!!)

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By Hulk2008, December 4, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every semester as I scrape together what I can to help my kids thru college, my “offshore” friends deride my efforts.  (For 2 semesters I had 4 kids in college at the same time.)  They question why I have to go to such lengths since they themselves have all been given what amounts to free rides to degrees here in the US.  They all arrived with partial undergrad “engineering” degrees (the offshore equivalent ... that is), corporate sponsorships for work, and support for continuing their educations.  They have all since garnered masters degrees in business or whatever fully supported not only by their corporate sponsors but also by our very own government.  We are oh so kind to visitors.  Somehow the Fed believes the visitors are more interested in education or more deserving. 
  Want to get a degree at US Fed expense?  Arrange to become the child of a middle-class family in Mumbai or Dublin or Kiev, then apply for US aid.

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By prgill, December 4, 2008 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Dear Troublesum,

Your comment is entirely correct and as a 14-year veteran of life in France I can attest to what a difference a free education makes.

European education is not always of good quality, but it is available FOR FREE to young people who might not otherwise pursue their education. Scholarships are available for tuition, living expenses (room and board), and, for qualified students a Junior-Year-Abroad program (Erasmus)for study in in any of the European Union’s 27 states.

Young people are the future of our world. Without training or education their contribution to our communities will always be less than what it might otherwise have been. I’m not sure public education is a job for the Federal Government, but the responsibility of state governements. This makes the balance between state and federal revenue sources a critical issue in building “change we can believe in”.

The American univesity system is high quality, to be sure. However, in our rush to build anything that could be financed, we have created a system in which college education is a private good to which some people are more “entitled” than others.

The pay-as-you-go mentality is more of a hindrance than a help in cultivating diverse, educated and competitive elites.

To be fair, there are many communities in the United States where quality education and fair access are primary public concerns. Such concerns often end with highschool simply because universities are typically managed outside of the local community and far more subject to political influences. 

There will always be elite schools though not to the same extent as we are currently experiencing. We should probably anticipate a market correction and reduction in the number of private colleges and universities. At the same time, there should be an expansion of State funding. 

To be self-supporting is good EXCEPT when it comes to promoting discriminatory practices which limit access to a public good, which is what this article suggests.

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By troublesum, December 4, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

In Germany and I think several other western european countries a university education is free to anyone who passes the entrance exams.  Even foreign nationals can receive free education in Germany.  Our owners don’t like the idea of education for the masses obviously.  In the 18th century they didn’t like the idea of education for women or blacks.

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By Deniz Yeter, December 4, 2008 at 3:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I moved to Germany because of the cost of tuition in the States.  Here in Germany, it is usually free, and if not it costs about 500 Euros per year (~$650).

However, this isn’t an option for everyone, since you need to speak the language of that country.

English classes in Europe cost around $5,000-$10,000 per year, but I haven’t looked that much so I’m sure you could find something cheaper.

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By prgill, December 4, 2008 at 2:53 am Link to this comment

How ever will Americans understand their best interests if they cannot get educated? I’d hate to think Skulz Fontaine’s comments (#203757) were appropriate.

Education, not military prowess has always been America’s first quality, a “public good” that no one will deny.

If our citizens had been better educated, if consumers demanded not more but better quality and had some perspective on what that “quality” meant, we might not have elected George Bush in the first place. We certainly would not have bought into the Pentagon’s agitation for invading Iraq and we would have understood that “energy security” was not achievable through pre-emptive aggression and bullying tactics. (For a more refined version of such bullying tactics, consider the Chinese threats to the European Union in anticipation of President Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama.)

As Obama takes office and builds America’s “dream team” the debate should be about public service, about preserving and promoting the public good: In short, about affordable, accessible, personally challenging and ultimately rewarding education.

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By Outraged, December 4, 2008 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

So this isn’t news, but now it’s proven.  That’s good.  But then the pressing question becomes…why?  Could this really be just “accidental” or beyond “control”?

There’s a reason…and it’s similar to the poll tax.  Don’t know what a poll tax is…well… a long, long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and America was the greatest country in the world…no, sorry… I misspoke, when America, the ONLY country in the world ruled by Jesus himself, after the war to end all wars, the people found a wonderful way to produce widgets.  In happiness and pride the people made the widgets for their masters.  The kind-hearted masters found favor with the people and so gave them manna.  The people were very happy and so produced widgets.

One day a very bad person spoke to the good widget makers and told them they should have widgets.  The people were scared of the bad person and so continued to make widgets in happiness for the masters.  The masters struck down the bad person to protect the good widget makers and protect their happiness.

And the masters lived happily ever after.  The End.

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By Ahh a Lion!, December 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A good way to bring tuition prices down?  Price out people from going to college.  If colleges can’t fill the seats, prices will have to drop.  But unfortunately that’s not how it happens, Government subsidizes student loan programs, provides easy credit, and provides guarantees to student loan providers backstopping any losses.  If anyone can get a student loan, then demand for college rises, increasing the price.  It’s basically the same fundamentals behind the housing bubble: easy credit, government guarantees, and absent lending standards means anyone can get a house, drastically increasing demand.

Want tuition prices to drop?  Abolish every single government-sponsored tuition subsidy.  It will take a few years to work itself out, but the fact of the matter is that higher education is a good, not a right.  Like any good, it will be consumed, the question is at what price?

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By skulz fontaine, December 3, 2008 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

We don’t needs no stinking smart peoples. Educates them and, hell, no ones gonna wants to fights the stinking wars. Sos be a good Amerikan and be stupit! After alls, stupits is as the prezdent wants us’n all toos be. Hmmm, I cans hear Toby Keith musics playings softly in the backgrounds and refrains of kickings some Saddam’s chumps asses. Ass? Does it matter? Be proud of Americans, de-educate yerself!

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By xypher, December 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

with an uneducated populace. Education funding is the first to go under a Republican Regime. They want worker drones and canon fodder who don’t speak up and demand Constitutional rights.

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By lichen, December 3, 2008 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Yes, the outrageous cost of college (caused by cuts in government funding, privitization) have been severe in the last thirty years.  Not only are many people ‘priced out,’ there are just as many who were taken in by the quasi-private student loan industry that, matched with the unjustified removal of bankruptcy protections on student debt, have ruined the lives of many, many people.  Read about it at

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By troublesum, December 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

College affordability is the least of it.  The msm has been doing an uncharacteristicly good job this past week in covering the effect the economic downturn has had on poor people.  Even democracynow doesn’t go there.  Since the US abandoned the social safety net for children under Clinton, the burden has fallen on states to provide meager support services to poor children and under present economic conditions they are the first to suffer.  The country is turning into a third world basket case.  Except for a brief period in the late 60’s and early 70’s education has always been kept out of reach for many people.  The purpose of the US is to kill people in the third world and take their resources.  You don’t need a college education for that.

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