“free college’ proposals hurt financially responsible families”

Ben Zeisloft:

Meanwhile, free college programs discourage American parents from making smart financial decisions. They force fiscally conscientious, tax-paying families to bear the brunt of the programs’ expenses.

Take, for example, President Biden’s recent American Families Plan, which proposes $311 billion on higher education spending. As Campus Reform higher education fellow Angela Morabito points out, free tuition would spur increases in education costs across the board as students use federal dollars to complete their payments, preventing market forces from producing high-quality education at low costs.

[RELATED: OPINION: Biden’s American Families Plan would make college a worse deal for American families]

In stating that the cost of post-secondary education has increased 439% since 1982, Ohio University economics professor Richard Vedder argues in a Heritage Foundation report that federal financial aid programs “have contributed mightily to the explosion in tuition and fees in modern times.” 

“When someone else is paying the bills, people want to buy more of the good or service in question at prevailing prices than when the customer pays the bills,” continues Vedder. “This means a higher demand for higher education, and other things being equal, higher tuition costs.”