Monday, October 24, 2011

Ron Paul on Education

Ron Paul is calling for an end to the Federal Student Loan program saying that the program (or more specifically government) is responsible for soaring tuition costs. Look, I like Ron Paul but he is dead wrong on this one. I went to UW-Madison when the State (government) was subsidizing the school by 2/3. So, with research grants from corporations and the federal government and out of state students paying much more those of us from Wisconsin were left with paying $1000 per year. Not cheap but an amount of money that could be obtained by working a minimum wage job. The Federal Student Loan program also existed at that time. What has changed? The subsidy from the state to UW for one, they are slated to take a $250 million dollar cut this year alone. Federal research grants for another. This has resulted in tuition now being nearly $10,000 per year. In order to earn that much money working a minimum wage job you need to work full time for more than 33 weeks. The sad reality is that most 18 year olds are going to working for minimum. I would contend that it is nearly impossible for someone to "work" their way through school today.

There are still private research grants coming into the universities but this is a problem in another direction. A private company can place research into a university for much less money than doing it themselves. The problem is that when the students that did that work graduate and need a job no jobs are available because the research has been outsourced to the universities.

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