Joe Biden is now offering “Free College” as a campaign promise, in efforts to lure Sanders’ supporters at the polls.
Here’s why Free College is a bad idea:
- Majoring in French Literature isn’t a good career choice
- More than 70% of people who have degrees don’t work in the field they studied (see above)
- No accountability to colleges for teaching their students “job skills”- something that will actually make them money when they graduate
Instead of making college free, perhaps a Income Share Agreement, or more commonly known as an ISA, from colleges would be better?
No money up-front, ISAs provide living expenses, and college tuition for students until they graduate and get a job. When they graduate, they pay back the tuition using part of their salary from the job they get.
Online schools are doing this with some success.
Students pay back the institution for the college degree they provided by paying a set percentage of their income until the cost of their schooling is paid off. This allows students to focus on school, gets rid of student loans, and all the paperwork that goes with that, and helps hold the school itself accountable for teaching, rather than preaching, and helping students learn skills that will translate to the real world.
This also puts some responsibility back onto the student. Instead of waiting for the student loan to default and be forgiven, the money borrowed gets paid as long as the student is working.
For some entering the computer science field, ISAs can prove useful. Many coding bootcamps and schools aren’t eligible for federal student aid in the first place, so ISAs are a way to fill the void.
That’s the case at Make School, which claims to be the first start-up-style school to offer bachelor’s degrees in applied computer science. Here, you could finance your education with either a partial ISA (worth $35,000) or full ISA ($70,000):
Partial: Repay 20% of your gross salary for 30 months.
Full: Repay 20% of your gross salary for 60 months.
The school also offers a $1,500-per-month ISA for living costs that would be repaid from 5-7% of your income over 10 years.https://studentloanhero.com/featured/schools-bachelors-income-share-agreements/
Free is never free, and in America it certainly isn’t going to be fair either. ISA is the way to go for college tuition.
And for those who college just isn’t the right fit, using the funds for a Trade School program would be a fantastic opportunity to get some skilled workers trained up, and get working families LIVING wages.