by Carl, 02/19/2014, 5:16 PM

The Pay It Forward program (Spokesman-Review link) sounds like it’s good as far as it goes.

Instead, under a bill proposed in the House, they’d pay after leaving school in the form of a small, fixed percentage of their future income for up to 25 years.

Rep. Larry Seaquist, who introduced the Pay It Forward program in House Bill 2720, said with tuition costs and loan debt skyrocketing over the past decade, those from low and middle income families find it increasingly difficult to access higher education. The Democrat from Gig Harbor said the Pay It Forward program would remove that barrier.

I don’t want to be too down on this It certainly seems better than getting into debt with whatever the interest rates are to go to college. Look, I hate to be a broken record here, the best way to make college affordable is to not make it so expensive. So long as we are a high tuition state, things like this are eating around the edges, not attacking the problem head on.

The biggest barrier to letting people from underserved communities into college is the fact that it’s fucking expensive. And this plan, while a better alternative for some, is still pretty expensive. Instead of paying for it with taxes, preferably as progressive ones as we can muster in this state, it’s gimmicks like this. And look, if this gets people who wouldn’t otherwise go to college into college, great. But ultimately it’s a poor substitute for making college affordable.

6 Responses to “Pay It Forward”

1. Say Wha? spews:

Worst idea ever.

2. TFitz spews:

In your last para. should “undeserved communities” read “underserved communities”?

I remember back when Goldy was doing most of the posting there was a lot of discussion of the pros and cons of having low tuition vs high tuition/high financial aid approaches as a way to ensure we’d get more dollars out of out-of-state students, among other things. Either approach appears to require more state money than the GOPers are willing to provide.

3. Carl spews:

@1: Thanks. Fixed.

Goldy is in favor of the high tuition high financial aid model. Maybe we’ll get there, but now it seems we’ve got high tuition, and a series of fixes model.

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

We used to subsidize higher education based on fairness and the realization that an educated workforce builds a more productive economy and an educated citizenry is good for society as a whole. Now we’re gonna ask students to fork over a portion of their paychecks for 60% of their working lives in lieu of state support for education and we think that’s an improvement?

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Boeing is going to offer its non-union cheap labor an 8% bonus in exchange for fewer screwed-up airplanes. Currently, they have to ship these things to Everett, and pay union labor to straighten out South Carolina workers’ mistakes.
All of a sudden that non-union cheap labor doesn’t look as cheap anymore. Who wudda guessed?

6. Michael spews:

Being in hock for up to 25 years to pay for college is just plain stupid. There’s simply no way to make this a good thing.

The way to make college more affordable is to refocus on the basics of education, get the # of admin and their pay down to reasonable levels, and give greater subsidizes to schools to help pay tuition.

It also wouldn’t hurt to stop looking at student loans as a “profit center.”