Dare we say that we agree with Ohio Governor John Kasich?
Yes, and we give credit where credit is due.
During The Fox News Channel’s “America’s Town Hall 2016” Sunday night in Philadelphia, PA, just days before today’s primary, the governor was asked a question by a member in the audience about the costs of higher education. Gov. Kasich gave a very thoughtful answer with some solid ideas on how young people can get a higher education without breaking the bank:
“First of all, community college is not a bad way to start. You can go two years to a community college and transfer all of your credits to a four year school and cut the cost of college education in half. In addition to that, when you are in high school, you should take College Credit Plus courses (Ohio). You can complete almost a year of college still being in high school. And at the same time, we need to remediate people because a number of people go to the university and have to take 11th grade Math and English when they are paying university tuition. On top of that, the universities themselves and community colleges absolutely need to look at the cost drivers in their institutions because…the costs keep going up like the way they are, these traditional schools, they are going to go away. People aren’t going to spend 60, 70 thousand dollars a year to go to college in after-tax dollars.”
We agree with Kasich.
Higher education needs to be reformed to help current and prospective students with the costs. Also, they need to hear from their leaders what specifically are the problems that are driving up the cost of education and what solutions can be implemented that will help solve it while at the same time guide them into making sound economic decisions concerning their future.
With college tuition increases far out-pacing inflation on a yearly basis, is it any wonder that students are graduating with $50-200K or more in debt? With job opportunities limited once they embark on their career to pay that enormous amount of money back, our leaders are failing to lead on this issue.
But on this issue, Kasich is leading.
Community colleges are affordable (a 1/3 of the cost of a traditional four year school on average), typically offer flexible class schedules for those students who work full time to help pay for school as they go, usually have smaller class sizes, and provide a solid learning environment for those who may be unsure of which area of study to pursue. And as the governor mentioned, the credits earned can transfer to a four year school should students pursue that route.
High school students taking advantage of college-prep courses (where available) is also a solid idea to help reduce the amount of funds needed to graduate and with a manageable amount of debt to be paid back.
Finally, Kasich mentions colleges and universities and the need to look at their cost drivers. Due to the federal government’s loan program (see below), these institutions have little to no incentive to lower costs to compete for students and their families’ hard-earned dollars because the government nearly ensures that the universities and colleges will get the money from the student (ultimately) whatever amount they charge to attend. Free-market competition to lower costs no longer exists with traditional higher education.
We would like to highlight two other issues that Gov. Kasich did not mention that is both driving up the cost of higher education and resulting in loan default: the federal government subsidizing loans and choice of major.
Under President Obama and his administration, student loan debt has hit an all-time high with roughly $1.2 trillion in loans currently outstanding. The federal government has increased subsidies during Obama’s reign and the cost of college has skyrocketed up accordingly. See the correlation? The more you subsidize something, the more the cost. Simple.
With private lenders for college tuition now essentially extinct, the student loan program through the federal government is basically the only non-family loan stop to get the funds needed to attend college. Knowing the government will provide the funds requested by the student, colleges and universities can charge whatever they want. And with a stagnant economy the country has experienced the past seven-plus years, is it any wonder that college graduates are struggling to pay back their $100K loan?
And that brings us to another point of reform that needs to be addressed: choice of major.
We certainly believe that every American should have the liberty and freedom to pursue any career their God-given talent takes them into. Having said that, however, these individuals should own up to their choice. Graduating from a private college or an expensive traditional four-year school with a degree in women studies or any number of fields of study that have very limited post-college opportunities is not wise.
High school students and those seeking to switch careers should research sectors of the economy where jobs are in high demand and that offer plentiful growth opportunities before choosing their career path.
Perhaps that is the exact reason so many young people are clamoring towards presidential candidate and proud socialist Bernie Sanders who has made “free college for all” a staple of his campaign. If someone else (U.S. taxpayers) is paying for your college education, then choosing a degree with your heart is an easy choice to make. Forget choosing those fields of study that offer plentiful opportunities for success. It’s their dime, not yours.
And therein lies the problem. The “free” society utopians have firm control of the narrative and we call on conservative leaders to fight back strongly against this rising tide of socialist thought.
It’s rare that we agree with John Kasich.
The man has no business continuing on in this presidential race that has seen him win only 1 out of 38 contests to date. In fact, Donald Trump unveiled his new nickname for the Ohio governor on Monday, “1 for 38 Kasich.”
On this particular subject, while not at the top of our most important issues, Mr. Kasich is right about higher education. It was refreshing to hear some actual solid solutions to a problem when all we hear is the foolish non-stop drumbeat for student loan forgiveness and free tuition.
We hope conservatives will heed the call to address the outrageous costs of higher education.
Governor John Kasich was asked a question on this issue and provided solid answers.
Just don’t ask him a question during lunchtime.