Another education post…I’m not gunning for Daryl, no matter how it looks
The National Taxpayers Union seems to be enamored with this idea being advanced by a think tank in CT. The idea is that high school students who blow through high school in 3 years will get a free tuition for what would normally be their senior year at a community college instead. Since a year of high school costs the taxpayer $10,000+, and a scholarship to the CC will cost, $5000 – the taxpayers win.
If we make the fairly safe assumption that most of the kids capable of finishing high school in 3 years are kids that would have gone straight to a traditional 4 year college, then what this idea really does is increase demand for CC with no corresponding increase in supply.
Any Econ majors in my audience want to take a stab at what will happen to CC prices?
Also, if we look to the Hope scholarship in GA that promises free tuition to any kid with a B average out of high school, we will see another side affect of this type of middle class handout. The pressure to graduate in 3 years will cause the high schools to make it easier to do so. After all, no elected school board official wants to face the wrath of a parent who has been denied a free year of college for junior by something as silly as academic standards. In many GA schools, over 1/2 the kids graduate with B averages. They can’t actually read well, or handle Algebra, but they have the B average and the free college tuition. Of course, that lasts exactly 1 semester, then they flunk out.
See this report for background on problems with the GA scholarship program.
To summarize, TANSTAAFL