MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty floated a plan today that would provide high school students graduating within the top 25% of their class 2 free years of college tuition. For an additional 2 years, just major in math or science.
Education is on my list of things I think US citizens should ‘get for free’, so I give the plan a hearty,’Hell yeah!’
It’s a smart solution and all MN gubernatorial candidates should be supporting it. According the the Strib and Minvolved, this change means 15,000 students getting an education without looking at a decade of student loan bills (which jump 1.84 percentage points on July 1 – ouch).
Sure, making it free doesn’t eliminate costs – there’s still infrastructure costs, decent salaries for professors and staff, etc. So, there’s a conversation around how those costs will be met. The obvious answer is to distribute the costs to those students still paying tuition; out-of-state students and those greater-than-25%-smart students. Providing a helluva disincentive to _not_ attend college. Definitely the wrong message.
There are other more interesting and sustainable options – like taxes. In fact – that creates a virtuous circle – better educated people make more, therefore they have more income, therefore they can be taxed a higher rate.
If I’m buying a ‘free’ education with my taxes – sign me up.