Left-wing politicians like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have advocated for "free college" during their campaigns. That sounds great and all, but what they really mean by "free" is taxpayer subsidized - In other words, paid for by hard working, taxpaying Americans.
Making college "free" using taxpayer dollars would actually be a disservice to many students, and here's why:
When you use your own money to pay for your $40,000 or $50,000 university degree, you're more likely to carefully consider the return on your investment. Perhaps do a cost benefit analysis. That means that although you have a passion for art history or theater, you will be more likely to consider the fact that there aren't a lot of good paying jobs in those fields, and you might end up choosing a more practical option in math or science.
We all agree that college is far too expensive and something needs to be done about it, but what's the answer?
Ironically, the answer to this problem is not to get the government more involved. It's to get the government out of the college game altogether.
The government currently subsidizes about 70 percent of all student loans, which means almost any student can borrow however much money they need to cover their tuition.
Sounds like a good thing, right? - It's really not!
The result is that colleges have been able to raise their prices and haven't needed to compete based on tuition cost. They know no matter what they charge, students will be able to borrow from good old Uncle Sam to pay their tuition.
If you got the government out of education, colleges would be forced to compete with each other based on prices in order to attract the best students.
This would lower the cost of education for all of us!
So next time someone says college should be free, remind them that it's not really free and tell them what we need is to get the government out of the "free college" game.