SemperLegal wrote:I never liked IBR, its essentially an incentive for colleges to charge whatever they want, for students to disregard actual costs, and a massive liability for the tax payer. It needs to go away, though I would like debts that were already disbursed, and maybe one grace year to be included.
I think it makes sense to get rid of government-backed student loans completely and replace them with a few need based loan systems. The reason that UC tuition has gone through the roof is because of those loans. If you cut them, schools will begin to cut costs and create their own payment plans to draw in the cash cows that are undergraduate students. I think fairness only requires equal access to a college degree, not to an elite college degree. This does mean that states will have to fund their public education system better., and may have to modify there course load and facilities to better reflect modern education. This also would require an actually meaningfulness public high school system and community college system.
As an aside, elite schools (HPY) will do what they always did, admit rich people and continue to use them as cash cows to fuel a massive endowment and fund merit scholarships.
As for graduate school, there should be no public aid at all. If you want to go to graduate school either find a funded position, work a decade, or make your case to a private lender. When graduate students can't pay 70k a year and seats start going empty, tuition rates will fall.
I agree with what you are saying, but you are wrong about bolded. HYPS don't give merit scholarships. Aid is completely need-based (although their definition of need is quite liberal - for example, at H, free for those whose families make up to 60K, 10% of family income for 60K-180K; that formula is it, so merit doesn't come into the picture although, of course, all students are at these schools are meritorious). The aid programs at these schools, which are generous, is why I am mildly annoyed when people say they couldn't attend HYP because of cost. I am not saying that never happens since it is conceivable under the system I described, but when someone says that, people are thinking s/he is a low-income student being asked to pay 50K a year, which is not the case.
Because of what someone said earlier about Harvard BAs having a decent shot at a very high-paying job right out of school, I think if you get into H (not getting in is usually the limiting factor, not cost) and your family makes 70K a year and can't put any of it toward tuition, you should take out loans to cover the 28K + whatever living expenses aren't covered (books, travel) and defray the costs with summer jobs, which can make a dent in 7K/year tuition. 10 40-hour weeks at $10/hour will get you a couple thousand after taxes. /procrastinatory rant