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Truth Through Combat

Comments on free community college

From assorted blogs:

An author named Zoobee writes:

Of course Obama knows the numbers. He does not care. His programs are designed for one thing: bigger federal government and more control. He will funnel as many students into community colleges as possible for “free” so that they are dependent on the federal government completely for their education, while attempting to end 529 plan benefits, rate private universities on the very standards that community colleges would fail if applied to them and then reduce student aid based on those very numbers that don’t accurately reflect “success”, end lifetime learning credits, and limit loan forgiveness to the undergraduate aggregate. He already ended subsidized loans for graduates, enacted overburdensome arbitrary rules like state authorization and gainful employment, limited Pell to 12 full time equivalent semesters, enacted the 150% direct subsidized rule, made satisfactory academic progress more complex, ended Year Round Pell, made PLUS borrowing easier (putting more students in deeper debt), and ended lender choice while handing the servicing contracts to the exact lenders he said were corrupt.

When you add up what he’s done with what he wants to do, the result is obvious: Students with or without degrees who owe the federal government for life.

Statistics show that poor and minority students are 4x more likely to graduate if they start at a 4 year school instead of a community college.

What Obama calls “success” is applying the standards in the article only to universities that are not controlled by the government. Whether or not the student is successful is merely a possible byproduct.

What Obama calls “success” is forcing states with already stretched budgets to foot 25% of the bill for his so-called “free” community college plan, which only requires the feds to cover 75%, making states even more dependent on federal grants.

I have a different definition of success.

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And here is Education2011:

There is a very simple way to substantially improve ‘graduation rates’ immediately! And now is the time to do it on the cusp of having taxpayers go from funding the majority of CC costs to funding nearly all of the cost.

Stop enrolling persons in academic programs until they are ready, PERIOD. While students are taking high school (and below) courses, DON’T enroll them in collegiate programs, which is only done to access what is, at community colleges only, a vast welfare program that incentivizes enrollment for the assistance, not academic or career pursuit. Let’s not put the entire cost on taxpayers, then turn around and still hand out $6000 in grants and $10,000 in loans on top of that, per year. The longer you spend in college, the more money you walk away with. We are already way overfunding these students for a K-12 education.
At the very least, fund no more than their very direct costs for remediation. Put the incentive out there to successfully complete remediation and be accepted into a collegiate level program by proving you are now ready.

if we don’t do this, and we cover even more of the direct costs (which for needy students is already being funded at close to 300% of the cost, and with ‘free’ CC that will go to funding 500% of the direct cost), graduation rates will plummet even more!

So much rhetoric is spent on improving community colleges success rates, and every initiative that involves giving students more money will accomplish just the opposite, no question about it. Not to mention the real ways to improve success, dramatically increased student engagement, will not happen at a community college. But there are other colleges out there ready to turn these failures into success for which the community college wants credit.

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