21 January 2012

At Least They’re Upfront About It

The students' proposal fits right in. Instead of paying tuition - currently at $12,192, not including mandatory fees, room, board or books - the "UC Student Investment Proposal" would require that students commit to paying 5 percent of their annual income for 20 years after graduating.
Students who pay $2,500 a year - 5 percent of $50,000 - for 20 years, would end up paying $50,000 for their education, slightly more than the $48,768 they would pay over four years if UC tuition were frozen at its current level.
On the other hand, students earning $100,000 would pay $5,000 a year, or $100,000 for their education over two decades.

This is basically no different than the student loan scam, except in that it may possibly be cheaper for students.  It functions the same way as student loans—you basically have to work for someone else for an extended period of time, making you essentially an indentured servant.  This will thus be the its downfall:  it’s too direct about enslavement.


  1. Better to be direct about enslavement than to hide it. (Of, in a lesser-of-two-evils sense)

    This would have one benefit: it would directly disincentivize universities producing worthless degrees. The university would think twice about its Barbie Studies degree if payment were directly linked to graduate's wages. On the other hand, the sword cuts both ways, it would also disincentivize the teaching of knowledge which is unprofitable but has a place in the world anyway.

  2. @GFM- I agree that it would be morally better to be honest about enslavement, but I don't think that this will ever happen. Those who enslave others prefer deceit, and I suspect that the enslaved would prefer to tell themselves that aren't enslaved.

  3. It is also very much like child support and allimony in that it is linked to income level and not the actual value of the good received.

    So I am guessing that if you got married and started downloading kids for the next 20 years as a stay-home mommy, you would pay nothing for your degree. What a bargain. Not a very good long-term plan since over half of their students are female and potential permanent non-income earners.

    Likewise, you could take a vow of poverty and totally screw the university of ever seeing a dime. They are

  4. @Prof. Hale- that's true, but I don't think women who are inclined to be SAHMs will make a point of going to UC for free, unless they're just trying to be subversive (or, alternatively, find a husband). It would be cool if it happened, though, because then UC would have to take it in the shorts because it wouldn't be able to discriminate against women. Though, realistically, they'd end up just passing on the costs to men. But then the men wouldn't go there, and so the university would eventually go broke as no one would actually end up paying for it.