May 8 2012

We Don't Need More Government Subsidies to Bring College Costs Down

Carrie L. Lukas

How to make college more affordable has been a big political topic recently.  As Hadley wrote, the President obviously sees promising bigger college subsidies as a way to win back young voters who have become less enamored with him, after 3 years of the economic doldrums. 

Hadley explains that subsidies aren’t even likely to help, since they make it easier for colleges to hike tuition higher.

In a piece on Townhall today, I highlight a different trend in education – one that actually might bring costs down. 

A growing number of leading universities (MIT, Harvard, etc) are offering courses online.  The existence of such resources should mean that many who want to build skills and get an education start to question why they would pay tens of thousands in tuition bills, when they can access the same information for free.

Moreover, it should really make taxpayers question why they are subsidizing bloated tuitions, since it’s increasingly clear that much of what they end up supporting (high tech lecture halls, fancy exercise facilities, and cushy dorm rooms) have little to do with learning at all. 

There are sensible ways to reduce the burden of paying for college—but government subsidies aren’t one of them.

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