The high cost of a college education in our country, has many parents and students questioning whether or not they can afford a college degree. Private colleges often command at or about $50,000 per year for tuition, room and board, leaving a student’s four year degree price tag with all expenses at or near $250,000. Even those people who can afford a quarter of a million dollar educational investment, are questioning what type of a return they will be receive and whether or not it is worth it. Acquiring a degree from an expensive private college with a recognizable name may not be so beneficial, if you can’t get a job after graduation and/or are saddled with six figure debt. The White House has taken notice of this problem and believes they have found the solution.
President Obama recently announced his new plan to make community college tuition free, for those students "who are willing to work for it." The inspiration behind the plan is in part, to raise the education bar for all Americans. In today's mobile business world, companies will establish their business in whatever country that offers the most educated and competitive employees. If that means relocating a business over seas, then that is exactly what they will do. President Obama believes that if he can raise the education bar across the board in the United States, then companies will be more likely to establish their business and remain in our country.
The President's plan would potentially be available to upwards of 9 million Americans and would cost an estimated 60 billion dollars over 10 years. The plan, which is subject to approval by the republican controlled congress, further provides for a 75% subsidy by the federal government and a 25% subsidy by state governments. This begs the question as to how is all of this going to be paid for?
In the unlikely event that the Republican Congress approves Obama's free college plan, clearly 60 billion dollars will not materialize out of thin air. Does that mean the money will be raised by the collection of more tax dollars? If taxes will not be raised, then will other previously funded vital services be eliminated or reduced? Although on the surface the idea of two years of free college sounds enticing, the American people need more information before embracing the plan like a newborn baby. If funding the plan ultimately results in the further squeezing of the now almost extinct middle class, then the plan really isn't free. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.