Who’s Paying for College?

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By Bill Maher

Nearly 70 percent of American high school graduates go on to enroll in college, which includes all the kids that should go to college, probably a bunch who should save the money and learn a trade instead of college, and also Lori Laughlin’s daughter. Elizabeth Warren is out with a plan to forgive existing student debt for current graduates and to make public colleges free for future students, all for the low, low cost of about a trillion dollars. Is this a good idea?

Now, first things first: I like college. I think most Americans should go to college, especially the ones where they learn something. Americans who graduate from college make much more money than those who don’t. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you make about 65 percent more than someone who only graduated high school. And if you have a master’s degree, it’s closer to 100 percent more. Here’s my question: If we’re going to use taxpayer money to subsidize people going to college, why should the people who didn’t go to college, and make less money, subsidize the people who do go to college, and make more?

I know “free college” is now a left-wing thing, but is it really liberal for someone who doesn’t go to college to subsidize people who do? Because just like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” there’s also no such thing as free college. Someone is paying for college. Shouldn’t it be the person who derives the benefit from it?   

We need a new idea to battle student debt. Why not boycott college? Teachers boycott, why not students? Colleges charge whatever they want because kids say, “put it on my tab.” Why not get those Parkland kids to rally the youth and say, “We’re not buying your product until you make it so that I’m not spending the rest of my life paying for it.” Gap years aren’t uncommon. Threaten a universal gap year in 2020, zero freshmen, and see if that doesn’t cause colleges to say, “Maybe we could use our billion-dollars-a-year sports teams to take a dent out of tuition.”