More than 1 in 5 college students reported they do not plan to enroll in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll released Wednesday. A College Reaction-Axios poll determined that 22 percent of students said they will not return to college in the fall as the pandemic has flipped the college experience on its head. Those not enrolling are making different plans, with 73 percent saying they will work full time, about 4 percent saying they will take classes at a different university and 2 percent doing volunteer work. Freshmen reportedly make up a “big chunk” of the population not enrolling in the fall, according to Axios, with Harvard University saying 20 percent of the incoming class of 2024 are deferring.
In sum, MMT suggests that the printing of money can be calibrated to the fulfillment of short and long term needs. Money could and should be provided for health care for all, support for education (K through university), structural renovation, transitioning away from fossil fuels, the creation of jobs for all and universal basic income programs, and support for a Green New Deal. These programs were vitally needed before the pandemic and are even more essential since its onset. Of course, cutting military spending, pork-barrel legislation, and creating a progressive tax system helps. But the human needs articulated by progressives should be defended. And doing so requires a realistic assessment of the causes and consequences of the national debt. History has shown that the idea of “the debt” has been an ideological tool used to challenge the creation of a just society.
The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children. The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you. It’s crucial that everyone who is not a wealthy movie star, hedge fund executive, or corporate CEO—that is, 99 percent of all Americans—sees this college admissions scandal for what it really is: a microcosm of the larger, corrupt system that works against working people, squashing their chances for advancement.
Despite the soaring costs of attending American colleges and universities, their students are receiving an education that falls far short of the one experienced by earlier generations. The sharp increase in costs is clear enough. Between 1978 and 2013, American college tuition rose by 1,120 percent, and became the major source of revenue for higher education. Traditionally, most public colleges and universities had no tuition or very low tuition. But, faced with severe cutbacks in government funding from conservative state legislatures, these public schools adopted a tuition system or dramatically raised tuition.
The ruination of higher education has taken about a generation. Will we be able to undo this damage? Can we force refunding of our public educational system? Can we professionalize faculty, drive out the administrative glut and corporate hijackers? Can we provide free or low-cost tuition and high-quality education to our students in a way that does not focus only on job training, but on high-level personal and intellectual development? I believe we can. But only if we understand this as a big-picture issue, and refuse to allow those in government, or those corporate-owned media mouthpieces to divide and conquer us further. This ruinous rampage is part of the much larger attack on progressive values, on the institutions of social good.
America's left coast is showing how to break up concentrated wealth and fund higher education for all. California can be an annoyingly trendy state. Think avocado toast, In-N-Out Burger, Hollywood fashion, even legal pot. But Californians are now in the vanguard to fix the serious problem of how to pay for public higher education. Over 44 million households in the U.S. are saddled with college debt — $37,000 on average. Together they owe over $1.4 trillion, surpassing credit card debt and auto loans. In the 1970s, California led the world with its famously accessible public universities and community colleges. Millions of Californians received a virtually debt-free college education. A friend of mine attended both undergraduate and grad school at the University of California in the 1970s and covered all of his tuition and expenses by painting houses during two months of the summer.
By Shahien Nasiripour for The Huffington Post - If corporations paid the same tax rate as they did under Ronald Reagan, governments in the U.S. would have enough money to fund prekindergarten for every 4-year-old in America and higher education for every American attending public colleges and universities, according to a Huffington Post review of government data. Corporations paid an effective tax rate of 31.7 percent on average during Reagan’s eight years in the White House, according to Commerce Department figures that measure corporate profits and taxes paid to local, state, federal and foreign governments.
By Ehab Zahriyeh for Aljazeera - Dozens of students at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago protested on Monday against the school's move to terminate an associate professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same God — a statement she made while wearing a hijab to show solidarity with women who face Islamophobia. Students filled the steps of the school's Edman Memorial Chapel chanting "Reinstate Doc Hawk," a nickname for Larycia Hawkins. The Protestant evangelical college said in a Jan. 5 statement on its website that its provost had begun a process for terminating her.
By Mitchel Cohen for Queens Free Press - New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is one of 154 City University of New York alumni, faculty and community members calling on the federal appeals court in New York City to convene a rare special session of all thirteen judges to reverse a court order that devastated an elderly lawyer who represented Rodriguez and hundreds of other CUNY students. Ron McGuire, Esq. is a 67-year-old attorney who represented Rodriguez decades ago, when the progressive City Council member from upper Manhattan was a City College student and community organizer.
By Amanda Girard for US Uncut - On November 12, thousands of college students in nearly 100 cities are walking out of class to demand tuition-free public college, a cancellation of all student debt, and a $15/hour minimum wage for campus workers across the US. The protest has been dubbed the “Million Student March.” “Higher education is in a state of crisis,” said Million Student March organizer Keely Mullen in an interview with US Uncut. “We need to build a mass movement against the system of corporate higher education.” “We’re ready to fight back. We’re waking up with empty hands and empty pockets and realizing that we shouldn’t be shackled to debt before we even enter the adult world,” Mullen said. “It feels more and more like education is just not a priority of our government or our system.” A multitude of organizational powerhouses are involved in organizing the Million Student March, which, according to the official Facebook event page, is taking place at 87 campuses as of the time of this writing — nearly quadrupling the number of actions planned from just a month ago.
By Katie Rose Quandt in Mother Jones. In the 2012-13 school year, first-year, on-campus tuition averaged $43,000 at four-year, private schools and $21,700 at in-state public schools. It wasn't always like this: The cost of undergraduate education is 12 times higher than it was 35 years ago, far outpacing inflation. While the indexed price of college tuition and fees skyrocketed by more than 1,122 percent since 1978, the cost of medical care rose less than 600 percent, and the cost of housing and food went up less than 300. Back in 1993, 47 percent of college students graduated with debt, owing an average of $9,450 per grad. As tuition rates have shot up, so has student debt: 71 percent of the class of 2012 graduated with outstanding loans, owing an average of $29,400. That's more than 65 percent of the entire first-year salary of an average recent grad. That debt has lasting consequences. Households headed by a young adult (under 40) with a college education and student debt have a median net worth of just $8,700. Student debt constrains young people's ability to start a business, buy a home, or pursue a public-interest career.
Higher education institutions in the United States employ more than a million adjunct professors. This new faculty majority, about 70 percent of the faculty workforce, is doing the heavy lifting of academic instruction. These are positions with tenuous job security (often semester-by-semester), sparse instructional resources, limited academic freedom, and meager wages—the average working adjunct makes around $3,000 per three-credit course. An astounding 20 percent of part-time adjunct faculty rely on government assistance, according to a recent report from NBC News. That is to say, many faculty in the United States are among the ranks of low-wage workers. From Seattle University in Washington and the University of Southern California, to schools in Chicago and North Carolina, adjuncts made it clear yesterday that they are fed up with their second-tier status. This isn’t the first mass mobilization of adjuncts either. Adjuncts across the country participated in a National Adjunct Walkout Day back in February.
"LearnServe was an after-school program for high school sophomores and juniors who were identified as leaders in their schools and who were also interested in social change," Arrington told Truthout. "We met professionals who worked in different nonprofits. Through them, I realized the impact one individual can have. I saw the passion these individuals put into their work and it lit a fire under me." Later, when LearnServe asked participants to identify an unmet need in their community and then formulate an action plan, including a mission statement and an organizational strategy to address it, Arrington's passion ignited.
More than 500 students mobilized Tuesday and took over the UC Davis administration building for about an hour to protest a proposed tuition hike by the UC Board of Regents. The students chanted, marched and banged drums in Mrak Hall in what they said was a message to the UC Board of Regents. "Tell them shame,” said UC Davis junior Mariah Watson. "Tell them that if you won't represent us we'll get rid of you. Raise tuition and we'll raise hell." Students said they are frustrated over the proposed tuition hike that would raise their costs by more than $3,300 over the next five years. That increase would make it tough for students like Lorena Castillo, a UC Davis junior, to stay in school. "Taking out all of these loans my parents cannot help me one bit, so they already told me if it gets any more expensive you might not be able to take out anything else and you might not be able to go to school," Castillo said.
The Black Panther Party grew out of the disappointment of the civil rights movement and its failure to make really significant changes. I think initially, from, like, the early '50s on up to the mid '60s, in the South there was a massive movement to desegregate things there, to make the buses, the interstate highways safe to travel on the buses for blacks and whites together. There was a number of bills and laws put in to get voting rights. And I think we thought in the black community that that would solve the problem of racism, that would solve the problem of police brutality, that would solve the problem of poverty, and that would solve the problem of a redline districting in terms of us being forced to live in ghettos. After those bills were passed, after those minor victories were made, we found out that we still suffered the same conditions. Racism still existed. Poverty was still widespread through our community. We did not have enough money even though we had integrated our lunch counters. We had had the right then to send our children to college. We couldn't afford to do that. We didn't have the jobs that would afford us the kind of payrolls, paychecks that would allow us to do that. So the brutality continued. Every week in some city, and in most cities across the country, young black men were being killed or beaten to death by the police department.