"From “How Clinton’s ‘Free College’ Could Cause a Cascade of Problems,” July 27 in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
The first in line for harm, most experts agree, would be the private colleges. . . .
“You’re going to see a combination of dropping enrollments and skyrocketing tuition discounting,” [ Kent John Chabotar, a former president of Guilford College] says, “killing off the weaker, private, unendowed colleges.” The migration to public institutions wouldn’t have to be universal to be devastating, he says. Some institutions would have difficulty absorbing even a 5- to 10-percent drop in enrollment. . . .
So let’s say that migration happens, and a new crop of students chooses public institutions over the privates. Good news for the publics, right? Maybe not. It’s unclear that regional publics and community colleges have enough capacity. . . .
“Do we really think in this fiscal environment, if a state makes higher education free, they’ll increase funding that much?” [ Donald Hossler, a scholar at the USC Rossier School of Education] asks. Colleges, he says, would soon be expected to educate more people with fewer resources per student. The quality of public education could erode. . . .
In fact, some experts worry that free tuition for most families could exacerbate existing inequalities and further stratify higher education. While poor students would attend crowded, lower-tier public colleges at no cost, affluent students could buy their way into elite colleges—public or private—where they might get a different kind of education from everyone else."
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Free tuition for most families could exacerbate existing inequalities and further stratify higher education
See Notable & Quotable: The ‘Free College’ Cascade from the WSJ.