1. Taxpayers will shoulder the increasingly heavy burden. The program is expected to cost $163 million in the first year alone; Tyler Durden noted at Zero Hedge that “like all other entitlements, [it] will only grow over time.” New York already has the highest tax burden in the country, meaning that as the program expands, every taxpayer in the state will get whacked by onerous taxes.
2. Colleges will ultimately be forced to raise the cost of tuition even higher. It’s a matter of basic economics: as demand increases, prices increase; eliminating college tuition for numerous people at the $125,000 income bracket and below increases demand; therefore, tuition costs will increase. There is already evidence to suggest that expanding the availability of federal subsidies increased the cost of tuition; back in July a New York Times article examining Hillary Clinton’s free college plan – which was similar to New York’s new program – pointed to a New York Federal Reserve study that “looked at three different increases in federal subsidies in recent years and found that each had produced a significant increase in college tuition.”
The Times article also noted:
Under Mrs. Clinton’s plan, most students would not feel the pain of tuition increases. The government would pay their bills regardless. But that could make it easier for colleges to raise prices, as they would not need to fear a loss of customers.
The same logic would apply to New York’s new program.
3. Class sizes will be adversely affected by the program. The surge in demand that stems from making college free would overwhelm college class sizes, meaning that some form of rationing would have to occur. Various European countries that offer free college require high school students to pass exhaustive tests in order to enter college; for instance, according to the Cato Institute, “Germany is infamous for tracking students into or out of higher education by a test called the Abitur. In France, high school principals, essentially, decide whether a student gets to be on a college track, and the weeklong baccalaureate exam determines if they can go to a university.”
The classes themselves in countries like Germany tend to consist of “large lectures at which attendance is strictly optional” that are “based on rigorous exams rather than modular coursework,” according to assistant professor at George Washington University Samuel Goldman.
Also, I believe that in the state, a lot of the higher paying companies may start requiring a minimum of a masters degree. If anyone can get a bachelor’s degree, then that education is no longer special. You’ll need a minimum of a masters degree to compete for the better jobs. And if you don’t go to college at all, you are screwed.
We’re really already there to a point. A lot of the good jobs out there are starting to require masters degrees because not everyone has them.
Besides, free grade school, middle school, and high school is working out so well for us. The kids don’t value the education they receive because it must not be worth anything, and the parents treat it like free day care instead of their child’s education. So please, let’s make college free, too. Let’s devalue the meaning of higher education so the snowflakes don’t have to start adulting too soon.