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Capital PA
Blocks against Con
Blocks against Con
***Answers***
A/2 Affordable Now-------------------------------------------------------------------3
A/2 Alternatives - General------------------------------------------------------------5
A/2 Alternatives - For-Profit Schools-----------------------------------------------6
A/2 Alternatives - Online Classes---------------------------------------------------7
A/2 Alternatives - Pell Grants--------------------------------------------------------8
A/2 Devalues Degrees/Underemployment-----------------------------------------9
A/2 Dropout Rates--------------------------------------------------------------------10
A/2 Harms Higher-Ed----------------------------------------------------------------11
A/2 Hurts 4-Year Degree------------------------------------------------------------12
A/2 Overcrowding--------------------------------------------------------------------13
A/2 Impracticality---------------------------------------------------------------------14
A/2 Quality Decreases----------------------------------------------------------------15
A/2 Spending---------------------------------------------------------------------------16
A/2 Still Won’t Be Affordable-------------------------------------------------------17
A/2 Students Aren’t Ready for College---------------------------------------------18
A/2 Subsidies are bad------------------------------------------------------------------19
A/2 Tuition Spikes---------------------------------------------------------------------20
A/2 Undermatching--------------------------------------------------------------------21
***Extensions***-------------------------------------------------------------------------------22
E/2 Empirics - Chicago----------------------------------------------------------------23
E/2 Empirics - New York--------------------------------------------------------------24
E/2 Empirics - Tennessee--------------------------------------------------------------25
E/2 Increased Wages-------------------------------------------------------------------26
E/2 Contention 2 - A--------------------------------------------------------------------27
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***Answers***
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A/2 Affordable Now
1. It is not affordable, when considering actual grants awarded.
Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune.
“Critics of the Obama plan point out that many low-income students already
pay little or no tuition because they're eligible for Pell Grants. But in a recent visit
to the Tribune Editorial Board, Joshua Wyner of the Aspen Institute reminded us that Pell Grants top out at
roughly $5,700 and are awarded on a sliding income scale, so "the more your
family earns, the less you get." A student with a family income of $60,000
won't get much if anything. Wyner also notes that community college students in general are older and
many work part time or full time to support themselves while pursuing a degree. " There's no question
they're struggling financially," he said.”
2. College is not affordable for the vast majority of Americans.
According to a Pew Research study,
“75%, three quarters, of the public say most people cannot afford to pay for a college
education.”
3. Attendance drops prove the concept.
Brittany Lyte, Award Winning Journalist, Boston University; Staff Writer, Wise Bread
“In the last decade, the college attendance rate has dropped significantly for
students from low- and middle-class families. Among the reasons is a steady
decrease in state funding for tuition, which has made the price tag of a college degree more
expensive than at almost any other time in history. The fallout is that a higher degree has
become something enjoyed by the haves and, unfortunately, a luxury out of reach for [many].”
4. Loans and grants don’t help everyone affected by high tuition prices..
Richard Davis, Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University
“According to the nonprofit College Board, the average cost of tuition at a four-year institution is nearly $9,000. The
average annual cost of a community college is considerably less - approximately $3,200.
However, even that sum can still be an impossibility for many Americans seeking higher education
opportunities. Costs have been rising steadily for higher education, making access more problematic for many Americans.
not only 18-year-old high school graduates but also millions of older
Americans who are unemployed or underemployed and want to return to
school to gain more market-competitive skills.”
These include
5. Even if students can afford to enroll, the majority of students are dropping out due
to costs.
According to a Public Agenda Report by the Gates Foundation (2011),
“College costs have risen 400% in the last 25 years, which makes sense when 62% of all college students
who drop out are responsible for paying for their own education, 60% of
community college students are enrolled part-time, limiting their financial aid and benefit options, including access to
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health care...”
Remember that empirically, in Tennessee, two years free tuitions solved this
issue.
1. Not all college expenses are covered in the status quo.
http://time.com/money/3674033/obama-free-college-plan-problems/
Bailey 2015 shows that only 40% of community college students have tuition completely
paid for by federal and state aid. “Other expenses (food, transportation, books, etc.) often
present insurmountable hurdles.”
2. Guaranteeing free tuition is superior to Pell Grants
http://www.thenation.com/article/194545/did-obama-just-introduce-publicoption-higher-education#
Konczal 2015 shows that free community college is superior to Pell Grants, which are
complicated and require students to remain poor. The more money they make, the more
the grants are pulled back.
3. TURN THEIR ARGUMENT because by guaranteeing free tuition, students can
continue to use Pell Grants to pay for nontuition expenses.
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A/2 Alternatives - General
1. In order to warrant it as a voting issue, an alternative must be a mutually exclusive
one; meaning that there needs to be a reason why we can’t do both.
2. Programs that appeal to more than just the poor are more successful.
a. Free tuition has empirically helped everyone.
Robert Siegel, NPR
“...Success is not [just] with the lowest income students... they're doing well
middle income and above students.”
b. They are more popular among both people and congress, lending more
reliance on sustainability.
Robert Siegel, NPR
“...Very broad eligibility... programs that everybody benefits from - Social
Security... [and] Medicare [for example] - are hugely popular programs. And
that kind of assistance to people is never challenged politically. Programs
that are targeted for the poor are challenged all the time. And if you want a
popular benefit, make it available to a broader number of people.”
3. The resolutional approach is best equipped to integrate and work in tandem with
with the current system.
Susan Svrluga, Staff Writer, Washington Post, 2/4/15.
“President Obama’s proposal to eliminate tuition for America’s community college students would send an important
message to students that college is affordable. Too many potential students are discouraged by
confusing information about college prices and by the complexity of the
financial aid system. A real improvement over the Tennessee plan on which it is purportedly based and some
other “free college” plans is that the Obama strategy would allow students to keep their
Pell grants to help with living expenses, while benefiting from free tuition.”
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A/2 Alternatives - For-Profit Schools
1. Much more expensive.
According to Peter Goodman, Staff Writer, New York Times.
“The
average annual tuition for for-profit schools this year is about $14,000,
according to the College Board.”
2. For profit schools are exploitive of taxpayers and students.
According to Peter Goodman, Staff Writer, New York Times.
“For-profit and trade schools... At institutions that train students for careers in areas like health care,
computers and food service, enrollments are soaring as people anxious about weak job prospects borrow aggressively to
pay tuition that can exceed $30,000 a year. But the profits have
come at substantial taxpayer
expense while often delivering dubious benefits to students, according to
academics and advocates for greater oversight of financial aid. Critics say
many schools exaggerate the value of their degree programs, selling young
people on dreams of middle-class wages while setting them up for default on
untenable debts, low-wage work and a struggle to avoid poverty. And the
schools are harvesting growing federal student aid dollars, including Pell
grants awarded to low-income students.”
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A/2 Alternatives - Online Classes
1. Students in online courses have lower completion rates.
Community College FAQs. Community College Research Center. N.a. Statistics from 2013.
“Overall, online courses are more popular among better prepared students; therefore, the researchers also compared
completion rates of online and face-to-face courses for students who had ever enrolled in an online course (or "ever-online"
students). Among
all courses taken by ever-online students, the completion rate
for online courses was 8.2 percentage points lower.”
2. Far more expensive option.
Anne Kim, Staff Writer, Washington Monthly, 11/13.
“Imagine you’re a twenty-five-year-old high school graduate. You’re married, you have two kids, you work full-time as
an office manager for a local company. You’ve taken a few classes at your community college nearby but haven’t finished
your degree. With a family to raise, you want to earn more money, perhaps working with computers, your passion. You
think of yourself as the creative type, and your friends tell you there’s a good living to be made in Web design. What do
you do? One option is to
enroll at DeVry University [and similar online programs],
where an associate’s degree in Web design will cost you roughly $39,000 in tuition
and five full semesters—at least two years—of class time. [Or] you could... go back to
your local community college and pay much less, about $2,000, for an eightcourse certificate in Web design basics.”
3. Not a preferable solution; would not fix dropout rates.
Tamar Lewin, Staff Writer, New York Times cites a Public Agenda Study by the Gates foundation, finding,
“Asked to rate 12 possible changes, the dropouts’ most popular solutions were allowing parttime students to qualify for financial aid, offering more courses on weekends and evenings, cutting costs and providing
child care. The least
popular were putting more classes online and making the
college application process easier.”
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A/2 Alternatives - Pell Grants
1. In order to warrant it as a voting issue, an alternative must be a mutually exclusive
one; meaning that there needs to be a reason why we can’t do both.
2. Look to the Tennessee Promise, which works alongside Pell Grant increases and
other plans. (PERM)
Duane W. Gang, USA Today – States keep eye on Tenn
“Tennessee Promise will effectively waive the tuition and fees for two years of
community college by paying the costs not already covered by other scholarships.
1. Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Jan. 15, 2015 “The future of community college”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-obama-community-collegestuition-higher-education-edit-0116-jm-20150115-story.html
a. First, Pell Grants do not cover a large majority of community college students.
According to the Chicago Tribune in 2015, “Critics of the Obama plan point out that
many low-income students already pay little or no tuition because they're
eligible for Pell Grants. But in a recent visit to the Tribune Editorial Board, Joshua Wyner of the
Aspen Institute reminded us that Pell Grants top out at roughly $5,700 and
are awarded on a sliding income scale, so "the more your family earns, the
less you get." A student with a family income of $60,000 won't get much if
anything. Wyner also notes that community college students in general are older and
many work part time or full time to support themselves while pursuing a
degree. "There's no question they're struggling financially," he said.”
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A/2 Devalues Degrees/Underemployment
1. Our opponents running this argument means that they concede to the solvency of
the inherent harms we talk about in case, through increasing graduation rates. Our
impacts, which are thus accessed, outweigh on:
a. Magnitude - because the massive impacts on equality, the economy, and future
sustainability outweigh.
b. Time frame - because lending solvency to our impacts starts the solution
immediately; compared to the delayed harms of devaluing degrees.
c. Probability - because solving for the issues in the current system guarantees
solvency; whereas devaluing of degrees may or may not happen.
2. To access their own harms, our opponents have to prove that the quality of
education itself drops and that students aren’t earning their degrees, which is the
only reason that the impact of devaluing degrees- being a more difficult job marketcould ever occur in the first place.
3. This hasn’t happened empirically.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
“Those possessing an associate’s degree earn over 33 percent more than
those with a high school diploma. Individuals with a four-year degree earn 50
percent more.”
4. Refer to our 2nd contention, which tells you that 65% of emerging jobs will require
at least an associates degree; so we offset the “devaluing” anyways.
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A/2 Dropout Rates
1. The community college graduation rate statistics are flawed.
According to the Hechinger Report in 2013 using data from the National Student Clearinghouse,
“Of the estimated one in four students who start at community colleges and
then move on to four-year institutions, more than 60 percent ultimately
graduate, the National Student Clearinghouse reports. And another 8 percent who haven’t
finished haven’t dropped out, the study says; they’re still enrolled. The
revelation suggests that the proportion of community college students who
successfully complete their educations is higher than the dismal [percentage]
18 percent the U.S. Department of Education calculates finish their two-year degrees within three years. The American
Association of Community Colleges contends that, if the government counted students who complete at least 30 credits at a
community college and then finish their degrees at four-year schools, the proportion who should be considered to
ultimately graduate would be closer to 40 percent.”
2. Dropout rates are due to financial problems.
According to a Public Agenda Report by the Gates Foundation (2011)
“Most dropouts [over 60%] leave college because they have trouble going to
school while working to support themselves... College costs have risen 400% in the last 25
years, which makes sense when 62% of all college students who drop out are responsible for paying for their own
education, 60% of community college students are enrolled part-time, limiting their financial aid and benefit options,
The survey also reveals that students who are receiving
financial backing from family members have a 63 percent graduation rate...”
including access to health care...
3. Remember that empirically, in Tennessee, two years free tuitions solved this issue.
Refer to the evidence from the White House; read in case.
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A/2 Harms Higher-Ed
1. There is already a substantial divide between two-year and four-year institutions,
and the two-years get the short end of the stick.
As a Century Foundation task force on community colleges noted in its 2013 report,
“economic segregation severely weakens the two-year sector...the rising economic divide between
two- and four-year institutions is bad for community college students, in part
because the paucity of middle-class and upper-middle class students reduces
the[ir] political capital of two-year campuses...programs for poor people tend to be
poorly funded. And as the community-college student population has grown
poorer, so has the ability to garner adequate educational resources.”
This means, in the same fashion, higher-ed is bad for 2-year institutions; so their
argument is completely circular.
2. Community college actually incentivizes students to transfer to 4-year universities;
if anything, turning their impact.
Why Community College? The College Board. N.d. N.a.
“Nearly two-thirds of all students entering a community college plan to
transfer to a four-year institution, according to the Community College Survey of Student
Engagement (CCSSE). One of the students’ biggest concerns is whether the courses they take at the community college
community colleges offer a transfer
program designed to steer students toward an associate degree that will allow
them to transfer to a college with junior status.”
transfer to the four-year college they plan to attend. Most
Because individuals have higher graduation rates once they attend community college, as
we have proven throughout this entire round, and 66% have intentions of transferring to a
4-year, the impact on higher education is turned on itself and thus falls.
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A/2 Hurts 4-Year Degree
1. Free community college will increase four-year degree completions by increasing the
pool of aid available across a student’s career.
Lydia DePillis, Journalist, Washington Post, 1/9/15.
“Two free years could help you afford the next two, three or four years. If
Obama’s plan were enacted, it wouldn’t be the only source of college aid for
people who can’t afford it. There are also Pell Grants — but eligibility for Pell
Grants only lasts for six years, and if you’re doing a four-year degree working
half time, you’re not going to make it. So if you can use the free community
college tuition to rack up some credits, that makes it a lot easier to finish a
bachelor’s degree before that federal aid runs out.”
2. Free community college increases likelihood of four-year degree completions.
Redefining College Affordability. The Lumina Foundation. Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall. April 2014.
“But with large numbers of students starting and never completing bachelor’s degrees and the costs of those degrees rising
substantially, the difference in those returns may subside (Greenstone & Looney, 2011). Moreover, the odds of
success in bachelor’s degree completion appear to be enhanced by
completing the associates before transfer.”
In this study conducted by the Lumina Foundation, the odds of success for any student at
achieving a bachelor’s degree becomes substantially enhanced when they attend
community college first-- by over 20%.
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A/2 Overcrowding
1. Community college enrollment is declining.
In fact, Flowers, Andrew. ‘Obama’s Plan For Free Community College Could See Some Competition’.
FiveThirtyEight., 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. states that,
“community college enrollment is falling faster than any other form of
college, and that a free tuition incentive could be necessary to keep such
colleges afloat.”
Anderson, Nick. "Data on Community College Enrollment Drop." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2014.. concurs,
noting that,
“many college leaders are worried a declining population could hurt their
budgets, and that an increase in enrollment would be of great benefit.”
2. Even if colleges were at high levels, the system can adapt to overloads.
According to an article from the Orlando Sentinel in this year,
“
because [community colleges] we are
the least-expensive sector of education, these investments should be
manageable.”
If this proposal succeeds, we will need to add programs, courses and faculty to accommodate additional students, but
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A/2 Impracticality
1.
Richard Eskow. March 19, 2014. Eskow is a former Wall Street Executive and radio journalist. He is a senior fellow at the
campaign for America’s future. (Our Future)
The United States has one of the highest “rates
of return” on college degrees in the world. OECD data shows that the “net present value” of a
“Higher education is a very good investment.
higher education – its estimated long-term value, minus total costs – is higher in the United States than it is anywhere else
in the world except Portugal. Free higher education is an affordable dream. As Jeff Bryant of the Education Opportunity
Network points out in his “free public higher education” petition, free
higher education is not an
unaffordable fantasy. If public colleges and universities were to be made
available to qualified students without charging tuition, the total cost would
be an estimated $62.6 billion. And, as Richard Long notes, approximately $69 billion is spent each year
on government aid to students. There is some overlap between the two figures. Some of that student aid goes to tuition for
public colleges and universities. But much of it goes to private universities, at levels of quality that range from Ivy League
elite to fly-by-night predatory. Let’s not kid ourselves: Doing this the right way would require increased government
spending. It would also call for better coordination between state budgets and federal expenditures, which can be achieved
it would be money well spent. Higher income for individuals
equates to higher spending, and therefore to economic growth. What’s more, debt is
in a number of ways. But
also an enormous drag on the economy. We are currently experiencing a student debt crisis of vast proportions – and it’s
getting worse. Federal Reserve data tables show that the total student debt outstanding in this country is now $1.225
trillion. What’s more, that figure has risen by nearly $400 billion over the last four years, or nearly a hundred billion dollars
a year. Imagine the stimulus effect that $400 billion might have had in these post-financial crisis years. Imagine the even
greater stimulus effect that we might have experienced if there were a massive write-down on the overall $1.2 trillion. That
kind of policy initiative should also be on the table. How much will it cost? We can’t know. We are currently spending
nearly $70 billion per year in student aid. Even if that figure were to double – which is by no means inevitable – it would
be more than paid for by Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s Fairness in Taxation Act, which increases tax rates for
millionaires and billionaires on a graduated basis to a modest top rate of 49 percent for billionaires. (It was 91
percent under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.) That bill would raise $872 billion over a 10-year period.
(Source: EPI.)
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A/2 Quality Decreases
1. Free tuition is provided conditionally, so community colleges must provide high
quality education.
Office of the Press Secretary. 2015.
“Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that either (1) are
academic programs that fully transfer to local public four-year colleges and
universities, giving students a chance to earn half of the credit they need for a
four-year degree, or (2) are occupational training programs with high
graduation rates and that lead to degrees and certificates that are in demand
among employers. Other types of programs will not be eligible for free
tuition.”
2. As long as more students are getting access to the education, it is worth it on net.
Cross apply our second contention when we show that jobs in the future will require
workers with at least an AA degree will increase to 65%.
3. Empirically enrollment in New York and Tennessee has increased and will outweigh
the theoretical drops in quality.
According to the Tennessean. 2014.
“When Gov. Bill Haslam announced the creation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship program, the state
anticipated 20,000 students might apply. A little more than a week before the
Nov. 1 application deadline, the number of students embarking down the path
toward free tuition at a Tennessee community college or college of applied
technology is closer to 45,000.”
According to the Washington Post in 2015,
“The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) waives tuition and
also provides money for textbooks, transportation, coaching, and tutoring.
ASAP students have better retention and graduation rates, and earn more
credits per student. Recently, the New York Times reported that 57% of last year's ASAP
students graduated within three years—compared with a 15% three-year
completion rate at other urban community colleges. Furthermore, as Goldrick-Rab
and Weingarten point out, "the return on investment is stunning—more than $205,000
in increased tax revenues and savings in social safety-net costs for a program
cost of only $3,900 per student."
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A/2 Spending
1. We can make college free by re-allocating already existing resources.
According to the Robert Samuels, President of the American Federation of Teachers, posited in a recent academic journal (2013) that,
“...All college education could be made tuition-free and loan-free simply by
using more efficiently the public resources already dedicated to higher
education. Public college aid is currently misallocated. Federal and state tax credits and deductions for individual
students to attend higher education cost public treasuries about $70 billion between 1999 and 2009. States also lose money
on college-savings plans, which the wealthy can use as tax shelters, but which again do little to help poorer students and
their families.”
2. Obama’s proposal includes an overhaul of the system and still does not require
regular spending.
According to Jeff Mason, of Reuters, just this month,
“President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget will seek new taxes on trillions of
dollars in profits accumulated overseas by U.S. companies, and a new approach to taxing
foreign profits in the future, but Republicans were skeptical of the plan on Sunday. Reviving a long-running debate about
corporate tax avoidance, Obama
will target a loophole that lets companies pay no tax
on earnings held abroad, the White House said. But his proposal was certain to encounter stiff resistance
from Republicans. In his budget plan to be unveiled on Monday, Obama will call
for a one-time, 14 percent tax on an estimated $2.1 trillion in profits piled up
abroad over the years by multinationals such as General Electric (GE.N), Microsoft (MSFT.O),
Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O). He will also seek to impose a 19 percent tax on U.S. companies' future
foreign earnings, the White House said. At present, those earnings are supposed to be taxed at a 35-percent rate, but many
companies avoid that through the loophole that defers taxation on active income that is not brought into the United States,
or repatriated.”
3. Even if we require normal spending, $6 billion per year is not an inconceivable
amount of the federal budget; two examples:
a. Using statistics from the World Bank, we can calculate that it is barely 3
hundredths of one percent (.036%) of the (“16.77 trillion”) 2013 GDP.
[6,000,000,000/16,770,000,000,000=.00036]
b. Weissmann, from Slate (2015), finds that,
“...To put [spending] in context, the feds currently spend almost $68 billion
annually on financial aid.... it should be possible to find $8 billion a year that
would be better spent making community colleges tuition-free.”
4. Regardless of initial spending, closing ethnic achievement gaps increases net tax
revenue; refer to the Center for American Progress estimates in our 3rd contention,
which tell you that free college results in, on net, over $1 trillion of increased tax
revenue by 2050.
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A/2 Still Won’t Be Affordable
1. The extra costs outside of tuition and fees are not unique, students would face these
costs regardless of whether or not they are in school. If anything, we mitigate these
costs...
2. The Brookings Institute (American Association of Community Colleges) report
attributes $7,705 to room and board, and $2,201 to “other” costs, but neither of
these costs (nearly all of the extra costs) would affect the majority of Community
college students, who commute from home.
3. If students didn’t need to use their grant money on tuition fees college would be
affordable to all.
Susan Svrluga, Staff Writer, Washington Post, 2/4/15.
“President Obama’s proposal to eliminate tuition for America’s community college students would send an important
message to students that college is affordable. Too many potential students are discouraged by confusing information about
college prices and by the complexity of the financial aid system. A real improvement over the Tennessee plan on which it
is purportedly based and some other “free
college” plans is that the Obama strategy would allow
students to keep their Pell grants to help with living expenses, while
benefiting from free tuition.”
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A/2 Students Aren’t Ready for College
1. In Tennessee, the incentive of free community college raised achievement in high
school.
Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN Money – Does free community college work
"In places like Tennessee, we're seeing incredible strides as a consequence of these efforts," Obama said in his address at
Knoxville's Pellissippi State Community College. "Over the past few years, Tennessee students
have improved their reading scores and math scores more than any other
state in the country. ... Every Tennessean should be proud of that."
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A/2 Subsidies are bad
1st. Federal subsidies and free tuition will not affect tuition levels of higher institutions.
Does Federal Financial Aid Drive Up College Prices? American Council on Education. Donald E. Heller. Dean, Michigan State University.
“What is probably the most in-depth analysis on the determinants of college and university
tuition prices was a study mandated by Congress in the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher
Education Act of 1965 (Cunningham, Wellman, Clinedinst, Merisotis, & Carroll, 2001a, 2001b). In that reauthorization, Congress
The study, which
resulted in a 220-page report, utilized multivariate analyses of institutional data
from the U.S. Department of Education’s IPEDS and Institutional Prices and Student Financial Aid Survey
(IPSFA). The IPEDS and IPSFA data sets include information from all degree-granting, accredited postsecondary institutions,
required that the U.S. Department of Education conduct a study to answer five primary questions.
and data from the academic years 1988–89 to 1997–98 were analyzed. The report also included a review of the prior literature. In
order to examine whether the determinants of tuition price increases differ across different types of institutions, the study ran separate
multivariate models for seven college sectors: public four-year research/doctoral institutions, public comprehensive institutions, public
bachelor’s institutions, community colleges, private research/ doctoral institutions, private comprehensive institutions, and private
bachelor’s institutions.9 It also examined the relationship between tuition price increases and four types of financial aid: federal
grants, state grants, institutional grants, and loans.
Across these seven types of institutions, the study
found no relationship between either federal or state grant aid, or loans, and tuition
price increases: Regarding the relation [sic] between financial aid and tuition, the
regression models found no associations between most of the aid packaging variables
(federal grants, state grants, and loans) and changes in tuition in either the public or private notfor-profit sectors (Cunningham et al., 2001a, p. 133).”
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A/2 Tuition Spikes
1. Federal subsidies and free tuition will not affect tuition levels of higher institutions.
Does Federal Financial Aid Drive Up College Prices? American Council on Education. Donald E. Heller. Dean, Michigan State
University.
“What is probably the most in-depth analysis on the determinants of college and university
tuition prices was a study mandated by Congress in the 1998 reauthorization of the
Higher Education Act of 1965 (Cunningham, Wellman, Clinedinst, Merisotis, & Carroll, 2001a, 2001b). In that
reauthorization, Congress required that the U.S. Department of Education conduct a study to answer five primary
The study, which resulted in a 220-page report, utilized multivariate
analyses of institutional data from the U.S. Department of Education’s IPEDS
and Institutional Prices and Student Financial Aid Survey (IPSFA). The IPEDS and IPSFA data sets include
questions.
information from all degree-granting, accredited postsecondary institutions, and data from the academic years 1988–89 to
1997–98 were analyzed. The report also included a review of the prior literature. In order to examine whether the
determinants of tuition price increases differ across different types of institutions, the study ran separate multivariate
models for seven college sectors: public four-year research/doctoral institutions, public comprehensive institutions, public
bachelor’s institutions, community colleges, private research/ doctoral institutions, private comprehensive institutions, and
private bachelor’s institutions.9 It also examined the relationship between tuition price increases and four types of financial
aid: federal grants, state grants, institutional grants, and loans.
Across these seven types of institutions,
the study found no relationship between either federal or state grant aid, or
loans, and tuition price increases: Regarding the relation [sic] between
financial aid and tuition, the regression models found no associations
between most of the aid packaging variables (federal grants, state grants, and
loans) and changes in tuition in either the public or private not-for-profit sectors (Cunningham et al.,
2001a, p. 133).”
2. If anything, we mitigate the impacts of rising tuition.
Weissman, writes in Slate (2015) that,
“Washington could actually make state-school tuition free for today’s students if it just redirected the money it spends on
financial aid at private schools into the public system… Under his plan, the federal government would pay 75 percent of
the cost of tuition for students enrolled at least half time while participating states would pick up the rest. In other words,
Washington would give a hand only if state governments promise not to use it as an excuse to shirk their own
[free tuition programs in which partial spending is covered by the
state] ...encourages states to make sure community colleges keep their costs
down—though, unlike four-year schools, their spending hasn’t grown much
in recent years [anyways]. In the end, it seems designed to break the cycle of
increasing costs and rising government aid. And it may be realistic because in the grand scheme
of things, it’s dirt cheap.”
responsibilities.
3. Even if tuition costs spike, the Con still has to prove that the spikes will be high
enough to push the federal deficit over the edge through providing both:
a. The breaking point in federal and state spending.
b. The impacts of crossing this threshold.
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all while countering each of our initial responses to spending.
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A/2 Undermatching
1. Undermatching itself is not a reliable impact because you can’t guarantee that
students would be admitted to the institutions they are being “undermatched” away
from. Remember that a 4.0 and good SAT score doesn’t automatically get you into
an Ivy League.
2. Undermatching is not a unique impact to free community college.
According to Thomas Bailey of Inside Higher Education,
“The reality is that even in a perfectly matched world, millions of lowincome, minority, first-generation, and immigrant students will continue to
enroll in community colleges. If we want to improve educational outcomes
among these groups of students, then we need to improve the colleges so
many of them will attend.”
Remember that, on net, more minority students graduating from community college still
mitigates the impact from not graduating at all.
3. Undermatching is not nearly as large of a concern as educational attainment. The
persistent problem has proven to be getting students educated, not the quality of
education they receive.
Jonathan Alter, former analyst for MSNBC and senior editor of Newsweek, writes, in 2015, that,
“[Undermatching] can be compensated for by more vigorous recruitment. Overall,
[because] free community college would allow both poor and middle class
students not to work as many part-time hours while in school, which makes it
easier for them to graduate... This means that state and local support for free
community college is the best option for now.”
4. Even if they, somehow, prove undermatching to be a unique concern in the round,
we still solve for the underlying harms of the phenomenon in the first place.
According to a Michigan State College of Education report,
“The reason undermatching matters, according to those who are researching the phenomenon, is
because attending less-selective colleges generally lowers the odds that a lowincome student will complete a college degree.”
However, at the point that we shift the paradigm of success in community colleges, as
free tuition has done empirically, undermatching becomes irrelevant.
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***Extensions***
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E/2 Empirics - Chicago
1. Graduation rates have improved significantly.
According to City Colleges of Chicago,
“...[in] the community college system...graduation rates have...
doubled...since its enactment.”
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E/2 Empirics - New York
1. A test program enacted with help from U.S. Congress has increased graduation rates
dramatically.
According to
“graduation rates increased by 41% at City University.”
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E/2 Empirics - Tennessee
1. Highly popular option among students.
Office of the Press Secretary, WhiteHouse.gov, 01/09/15.
“In the past year, Tennessee and the City of Chicago initiated free community college programs. In the first year
of the Tennessee program, 57,000 students representing almost 90 percent of the state’s
high school graduating class applied for the program. The scholarship is coupled with
college counseling, mentorship, and community service that early evidence suggests supports greater enrollment,
persistence and college completion.”
2. Higher success rates.
Office of the Press Secretary, WhiteHouse.gov, 01/09/15.
“This is coupled with efforts to spur innovation and improvement by funding colleges using performance outcomes based
on student success and an innovative approach to career and technical education through the Tennessee Colleges of
Applied Technology. These Tennessee
Tech Centers have a graduation rate of 80
percent and a job placement rate of 85 percent.”
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E/2 Increased Wages
1. Average Income
Pew Research Center, 14,
“The economic analysis finds that Millennial college graduates ages 25 to 32
who are working full time earn more annually—about $17,500 more—than
employed young adults holding only a high school diploma. The pay gap was
significantly smaller in previous generations. College-educated Millennials
also are more likely to be employed full time than their less-educated
counterparts (89% vs. 82%) and significantly less likely to be unemployed (3.8% vs. 12.2%).”
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E/2 Contention 2 - A
1.
According to the Huffington Post
“A recent analysis found that a 2 percent increase in people with an
associate’s degree and a 1 percent increase in people with a bachelor’s degree
would result in $20 billion in additional economic input, $1.2 billion in
additional state and local tax revenues every year and 174,000 new jobs.”
2. $20 billion annually.
A meta-study conducted by the Mira-Costa Foundation found,
“[t]he two-percent increase in the share of the population with an associate’s
degree [granted] through free tuition…[will] result...in $20 billion in
additional economic input, and $1.2 billion more in state and local tax
revenues annually.”
3. Community college should be free—provides key training in STEM fields and
serves as a training ground for high-tech industries.
Scientific American, editorial, 8/14.
“Community colleges are pillars of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
education. They train technicians for jobs in leading-edge industries and
grant associate's degrees that let students finish the last half of their higher
education at a four-year institution. While the gap in economic well-being between college graduates
and those with only a high school diploma grows ever wider, community colleges serve as gateways for the
underrepresented and the working class. Nationwide, 40 percent of community college students are in the first generation
of their families to attend college, more than 55 percent of Hispanics in college are enrolled in community colleges, and 40
percent of community college students hold down full-time jobs. The
National Science Foundation
has long recognized the importance of two-year schools as training grounds
for high tech industries such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. It devotes more
than $60 million annually to its Advanced Technological Education program, which develops curricula to immerse
students, for instance, in the nuances of cell cultures and standard deviations. Graduates of these courses go on to careers in
the laboratories of Genentech and the command centers of nuclear power plants. Veterans returning to the workforce
receive training for technical careers in the aerospace industry. ”
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