Some countries, such as Sweden, fund higher education through taxes. Now some people complain that such systems produce egregious tax rates. However, if you combined local, state and federal tax rates with the cost of healthcare (average 17%) and higher education, you would find that we are spending much more for these services, and getting poorer results, as well.
Publicly funding higher education would have numerous benefits. Not only would we have a much more highly educated populace--which itself translates into far fewer social ills--but the workforce would be transformed in multiple ways. Workers would be more educated and they would enter the workforce without debt, thereby giving them greater freedom in choosing a career path. More of them might even then be in a position to create jobs for themselves by starting businesses of their own. And imagine if physicians could enter medicine without ridiculous medical school costs. [By the same token, imagine single-payer, publicly funded healthcare without burdening individual doctors with prohibitive malpractice insurance, and you can see how the profession could be transformed. Much less expensive, for one thing.]
I propose a 12-year plan to gradually move to publicly funded higher education. Every 4-years, the allowance would be increased 33.33%. The number of years of eligibility would be based on the degree, to limit program costs/coverage/exposure to getting degrees completed on time. There would also be some total limit (10 years?) for combined college and graduate education support.
This Act would still allow for private institutions, but ensure that every citizen had the opportunity to receive quality higher education, recognizing that this is a benefit not only for individuals but society and civilization as a whole.
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