The college financing debate has a lot of weird quirks in it. One of those weird quirks is what gets spoken of as the costs of attending college. Consider the following three costs: Opportunity costs (i.e. foregone income in the years you are studying). Direct costs of college itself (i.e. tuition, books, fees, etc.). Living… Continue reading What are the costs of attending college?
It’s commonplace for some to note that there are racial and class disparities in student debt levels and then hastily conclude that the cost of college is a cause of wealth inequality. These analyses strike me as deeply confused. Consider the following example. Scenario One: Non-Free + Price Discrimination In the status quo, our college… Continue reading Wealth Inequality and Student Debt
Giulia Pines has a piece at Jacobin in which she cautions people not to celebrate too much about Germany’s free college tuition because, among other things, they put kids on educational tracks early in life. This, she suggests, has the effect of baking in class distinctions because working class kids presumably get put on vocational… Continue reading Higher Education, the Nordics, and the Matthew Effect
One of the weird things people emphasize when tuition subsidies and the like are brought up is that such things don’t even cover the full “cost” of attending. This is because, they explain, students’ housing and food and other miscellaneous expenses cost a good deal of money and tuition subsidies don’t reach those things. The… Continue reading Quick note on student living expenses
Supposing college was free, what would the social narrative about the recipients of it be? I have seen two basic approaches: 1. It is a right. I owe nothing. Under this narrative, recipients of free college are due free college as a matter of right. To deprive them of it is to oppress them. When… Continue reading Free college narratives