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The #1 thing the debate over #FreeCollege reveals is that most Americans know very little about college today.

They think they do. Maybe they went to one or sent their kid to one.

Or they work at one.

Key word: ONE.

Let’s talk #RealCollege ...
1. #FreeCollege is about PUBLIC higher education.

There are over 4K colleges in the U.S. Of those about 1600 are public.

That 1600 includes:

~1100 community colleges
~450 regional comprehensives
~50 research & flagship unis

Yet most people think about those 50!
This leads to statements like:

“Low income students can’t get in anyway.”

“They don’t have capacity.”

“Capping their tuition will starve them.”

Read 47 tweets
The student debt crisis was intentional.
And remains intentional.
I’ve been working and not on twitter. I see the calls for a thread and will do soon as I can!
Read 46 tweets
I'm happy to see an article that nibbles at the notion that education is a market where people necessarily act rationally, but why not take the whole step and just recognize there will never be a wholly rational (consumer) market for education?…
Or rather, recognize that the rationale for this market is housed not in economic theory, but sociology and @tressiemcphd's #LowerEd. The programs highlighted in the article are an example of a market that "makes our collective insecurity more profitable."
That schools explicitly or implicitly promising access to "dream" careers like the Academy of Art university can get people to take on gigantic loan debt isn't a problem of irrational markets. It's a consequence of human behavior in all its complicated glory.
Read 15 tweets
Public university partners with The Rise Fund in for-profit education initiative targeting partial college completers who were hamstrung by high college costs. This is nothing to celebrate. cc: @AnandWrites
Consider how this has worked. People can't complete college because of systemic issues which result in high costs and other barriers. The ultra-wealthy behind The Rise Fund have achieved this wealth propping up this system...
Now, ASU, the "new American university" will seek profit by selling access to education the partial-completers were denied by the system that benefitted the people behind The Rise Fund. What a great deal.
Read 6 tweets
This is still all over my TL this morning so here are some reasons this is the wrong way to think about college. Long thread.
First, let’s unpack it. What Buttigieg is saying here is that college brings $$ to those who complete it. But the people who finish college are, on average, better off to start with. And even if they weren’t, they now have more earning power, b/c college.
So by charging them less than their actual cost of education, we are using the money of poorer non-college goers to pay for the educations of college-goers – who are either well-off to start with, or will be with their shiny new BAs.
Read 26 tweets
There's a quote from the NYTimes write-up of the admissions bribery scandal that is a perfect encapsulation of @tressiemcphd's "LowerEd" thesis that #LowerEd exists in order to make elite higher ed more valuable.…
Notice the framing: the bribery cheated other hard-working kids out of a "chance at higher education." This language suggests that the only education worth having is one acquired at an elite institution. Otherwise, you've missed your chance.
We know that the quality of education at these elite institutions is no different than that available at thousands of other places, but because of #LowerEd those slots take on enormous value. The solution to the problem isn't to just raise LowerEd, it's to lower elite higher ed.
Read 10 tweets
Yep literally a whole chapter about this in #LowerEd and sooooo much work left to do on why, how, to what ends. How are those programs structured? Racialized? Gendered? Outcomes? Private loan markets? Identity formation?
Most students I talked to had a very clear identity around their graduate work that draws on greater hustle of entrepreneurship and self-worth. A high price for moral credentialing.
No one knows what these outcomes look like and that's bananas.
Read 9 tweets
I have had to stop telling any of my medical professionals what I study for a living, especially the natural/homeopathic ones. It ruins my appointment. I had an acupuncturist with almost $160k in debt.
My sense is that almost everything at the margins of "Healthcare" is shady af: "eastern" medicine, nutrition, holistic, naturopathy. In #Lowered I talk about how the veneer of medical field provides a lot of cover for dubious programs. IDK if it has gotten better or worse
For instance, have medical student loans in private market gotten more expansive?
Read 5 tweets
Thanks, John. I hope EVERYONE reads the @ProPublica piece on Liberty with a side of #LowerEd @AlecMacGillis has done a great job showing how LowerEd is not only a #4profit phenomenon…

Let's read it together, shall we?
One thing I point out in the #LowerEd epilogue is that there is a political context to shifting legitimacy to corporate highered. The GOP isn't shy about it. It's their official policy platform. Of Liberty, Alec shows this nicely
It is the context that colleagues like @Lollardfish @ldburnett @reclaimUC have tirelessly researched, written about and archived: the culture wars never ended. They merely transformed and became more deeply ingrained in "legitimate" political discourse
Read 37 tweets

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