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View Diary: Romney's big 'four years tuition-free' scholarship covered just a small fraction of college costs (92 comments)

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  •  The states have dramatically cut their support (5+ / 0-)

    for institutions of higher learning, and the money has to come from somewhere.

    It seems in the 90's there was a shift away from a style of keeping tuition (and fees) as low as possible for everyone and instead having the official cost rise and providing more financial aid for kids in need. The idea was to get more tuition out of kids who could afford it and I think the original intent was to be revenue neutral overall.

    One of the problems with that is that most scholarships are only funded for 4 years, and it turns out there are lots of reasons (some academic, some logistical, and some just chance) why a student might need 5 or even 6 years to graduate. So what happens is that a student is funded for the first four years at relatively low cost, but then has to finance the entire 5th year with student loans, doubling or tripling the student's debt even though the student came into the education system with a very appropriate and responsible plan to pay for her education. But when you're a year away from graduating, you pretty much are stuck doing whatever it takes to finance that last year.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:55:36 AM PDT

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    •  Yes, that's big! (1+ / 0-)
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      instead having the official cost rise and providing more financial aid for kids in need
      For example, doesn't Harvard offer "free" tuition for any kid from a household with an income $60K or lower?   And most of their peer schools have some type of similar system.  

      But to pay for that, the nominal tuition rates have indeed skyrocketed much faster than inflation would indicate they should have.

      •  there really is no such thing (1+ / 0-)
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        I know because my daughter just graduated from a college that went "tuition free" the year she entered. You still have to pay the parental contribution which is based on parental income.

        and here's another aspect of all of this Financial stuff is done at the same time as kids apply. In two keystrokes schools know who will need help and how much. The whole notion of needs blind is bs unless the school has a commitment to both diversity and helping kids that need financial help.

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