Be Your Age

I have no interest in the student loan forgiveness issue. I don’t have any, I never had any, my husband never had any, nobody in my family ever had any.

But when people say things like “well, universities will just raise tuition,” I writhe in vicarious shame in regards to the extraordinary childishness of such pronouncements. It’s OK not to know how things work. But then it’s a good idea not to go around opining on things of which you have no knowledge.

I have witnessed an effort to “just raise tuition” where I work that’s been going on for close to 15 years. We have fired everybody we could. We have stopped buying paper and toner. We have stripped every facility bare. We have stopped subscribing to academic journals. We even canned our subscription to the OED. But we have not been able to raise tuition. The state has dramatically reduced our funding many times over. And none of this has helped to “just raise tuition.”

Among all the remedies to our situation, nobody is even suggesting raising tuition any more because it’s on par with hoping to win the lottery. It’s not happening. We will dismantle every building brick by brick bit we will not raise tuition. We have increased cash handouts to students from 3 to 27 million per year in the past 20 years. Forget “just raising tuition,” it’s impossible to get this sum reduced to something reasonable.

It’s s very sore point right now. I’m happy for people whose debt will be reduced but this will do absolutely nothing for my university and its endless budget crisis.

2 thoughts on “Be Your Age

  1. They might be referring to the way that creating these government backed student Loans in the first place (according to some economists) has enabled (caused?) tuition overall to grow at rates far exceeding inflation.

    State and even some private Tuitions used to be in line with what enterprising students could earn over the summer. Of course, it was much harder to gain entrance at state and local schools then.

    At CUNY for example, at some point they created open enrollment, essentially letting anyone no matter how much remedial classes were needed, enroll in a 4 year college.


  2. “I have no interest in the student loan forgiveness issue …”

    But it clearly has an interest in you!

    В Советской Америка, проценты увеличивается ВАС! 🙂

    This dog’s tail wags a horse: Amotz Zahavi’s handicap principle as applied to this system created a market for academic credentials as expensive signalling for fitness that was then adapted into its current primary form as a gatekeeping function.

    “… nobody is even suggesting raising tuition any more because it’s on par with hoping to win the lottery …”

    Which of course it operates in its devolved state as a rigged system that most people have no hope of winning.

    Despite that, people pretend that this is all normal and proper through “hypernormalisation”, and that the creation of long-term debentures for people who are among the least likely to afford them is an acceptable type of financialisation, rather than a predatory one.

    So when they hear the idea that student loans should be abolished altogether, and that the normal market regulation schemes that would function in the absence of Big GUV BUX would help set prices back to something tolerable, they can’t hear how this would work because they see this as a matter of being denied seats at a table.

    To these people, the abolition of student loans would reduce the number of people who could afford secondary education, because they cannot understand the market abnormalities that have created the present situation and how the most reasonable way out would be to reduce the size of a market that largely exists for its own sake.

    And so like a lot of things in the US today, this will lead to an inevitable collapse of these systems, after which they will naturally reconfigure (with huge losses) into the essentials required to survive.

    Hence my logic in saying this once again: let it burn.


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