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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

As college costs near $100k per year, Biden pledges to forgive more student loans

Is a year at Vanderbilt worth $100,000? At a few dozen elite universities, the list price for tuition, room and board and other expenses is approaching six figures, writes Ron Lieber in the New York Times. Vanderbilt is up to $98,426 for engineering students -- if they don't receive financial aid. (At that price, it's no wonder protesters sitting in at the chancellor's office expected to be served Panera sandwiches.)


Also nearing $100,000 are New York University, Tufts, Brown, Yale, Wellesley, Penn, University of Chicago, USC, Harvey Mudd and Washington University in St. Louis.


Most students pay less, Lieber writes. The average sticker price this year was $56,190 at private, nonprofit four-year schools and $24,030 for in-state students at four-year public colleges, according to a College Board report.


Furthermore, many universities substantially discount prices for students from less-than-wealthy families and offer financial aid. Vanderbilt "announced that families with income of $150,000 or less would pay no tuition in most instances," he notes.


Vanderbilt's campus in Nashville

Saying that a college degree is a "ticket to the middle class," President Biden announced plans to reduce or erase federal student debt for tens of millions of borrowers, reports Michael D. Shear in the New York Times. Twenty-five million former college students would pay less, and four million would see their entire debts wiped out, if the plan withstands legal challenges.


It's an election-year ploy, writes Shear. Will it win votes? Many of the Times' readers commenting on Lieber's story point out that rising college costs are the real problem. Several cite the story about $100,000 college bills. Others say they paid their own college loans and want others to do the same.


Biden's new debt-relief plan “would stick taxpayers with bills for debts other people chose for their own financial advancement," said Neal McCluskey, the director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute.


“College degrees have become overpriced because colleges know that, at the end of the day, Uncle Sam and the taxpayers will pick up a big part of the tab for ridiculously high tuition, room and board," Bob Eitel of the Defense of Freedom Institute, told the Washington Examiner. “President Biden’s loan cancellation orgy has only made the problem worse. The system is totally broken.”


Speaking of something else that's totally broken, the Education Department's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) revamp has been a disaster, writes AP's Nick Perry.


It was supposed to make it easier for students to apply for federal aid. Instead, it's such a mess that students can't find out how much aid they'll receive and colleges don't know who can afford to enroll.


“The rollout has been pure chaos and an absolute disaster,” said Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. Fewer students are applying for aid. If that persists, he says, college enrollments will fall and some colleges could go under.

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9 Comments


Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Apr 10

Credit by exam would bust the $400 billion per year US post-secondary credential racket but $400/hr. university professors will not slit their own throats. Voters (taxpayers) have to pitch in. A fiscally responsible president could:

A. Mandate that the five service academies must open online branches which:

1 Admit everyone who applies

2.Charge no tuition

3. Define courses by their syllabi

4. Conduct no classes

5. Employ no faculty

6. Grant credit by exam

7. License independent agencies to administer course final exams at a fee to be negotiated between the student and the exam proctor.


B. Mandate that all Executive branch agencies must accept degrees earned through exam as equivalent to degrees earned through attendance at brick and mortar…


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superdestroyer
Apr 11
Replying to

One if forgetting the costs of preparing the exams, deciding changes, and operating the online branches.

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rob
Apr 10

"Hello, I'm Joe Biden and it's an election year. Let me buy your vote. I'll pay top dollar! Don't worry, it's free money and won't cost anyone anything. You'll be doing everyone a favor if you just take the money. Oh, and vote for me."

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superdestroyer
Apr 10
Replying to

Once again, one does not pay for Vanderbilt with government backed loans. Government backed loans are paying for state schools, community colleges, and trade schools. Look it up.

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Apr 10

Biden-Harris is, educationally speaking, as I feared, the worst maladministration I've ever seen. They do not deserve reelection, yet there are obvious problems with their Republican challenger, so if we could find a candidate returning Secretary DeVos's policies to a federal Department of Education (full disclosure, for which I've done contract work) without the chaos of the first Trump administration, our choice might be easy; as it is, both old parties are failing the American people worse than at any time I can remember.

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m_t_anderson
Apr 09

Is a year at Vanderbilt worth $100,000? 


It is if President JoeBlob can find some sucker to pick up the tab. BTW, filed your income tax yet?

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tango5204
Apr 09

If you want the cost of tuition to become accessible to the masses again the government needs to get out of the student loan business Right now, because it's a direct funnel from the government to the universities, tuition will continue to rise because the government will always have an unlimited supply of cash and the universities just can't help themselves from taking advantage of that.


Let private industry, private foundations and the colleges themselves decide who to loan their money too--and then be on the hook for repayment. There would be a lot less hopeless debtors and a lot more people who can afford to go to college without a loan.


Vanderbilt's endowment is around $8,000,000,000 ($8B). Maybe it'…

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superdestroyer
Apr 09
Replying to

One want want to look up the maximum amounts for federally backed student loans. One is not pay Tufts tuition with a Pell Grant and a federal student loan.


https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized

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