We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Throughout the 1950s, and with the best of motives, Americans gradually adopted a policy of allowing—even encouraging—colleges to use what economists call first degree price discrimination. Here’s how this price discrimination works...
Would it be safe to say the "true" cost of education is the amount less what pell grants etc cover?
Just like the cost of a subsidized apartment or house. It should rent for $7 or 800, but because there is a subsidy, they charge $11 or 1200.
College education has actually been the hardest burden on the middle class.
There is a popular theme among progressives, talking about how the middle class is suffering, or being destroyed (see the recent Pew research study, or Wm Clinton's current Obama ad), yet they never talk about reducing the college ranks.
College is largely a scam, and its purveyors prey among the weak.
I have no problem going into debt so my sons can get a college education.
The key word, of course, is "education."
Even my wife says "you go to college to get a job." I say "you go to college to get an education."
You can use an education to get a job and be a useful member of society. You can't study a narrow range of interest-based ideas and call it an education. It's not. I got a dual degree because I felt it would be more useful than a major and a minor. But I still exceeded my credits in the Liberal Arts core because I enjoyed the classes and felt they enhanced my majors.
College is not a scam, though it is on the verge of becoming one due to the ease with which we allow people to attend. A college attendance does not confer an education, though many people think it does. I have hired college grads who do not read anything. In fact, they are proud of this fact (I did not learn this until AFTER they were hired and I was very disappointed in my interview process when I learned it, so I've added new questions to deal with this flaw).
I believe college is important, but it is not for everyone, nor should it be. But we have made a decision that is should be for everyone. I don't know why we believe this.
Yes, it is difficult to put my kids through school, financially. But as my father said "if you think the cost of education is high, try the cost of ignorance." I'll go with that premise.