A German Promise?

Since 1985, the cost of going to college in the U.S. has soared by more than 500 percent and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. That increase? It’s twice the increase of medical cost, three times the increase of gas prices and four times the increase of the cost of shelter. (If you want to see what this has meant at your favorite school, follow this sad link to the Chronicle of Higher Education’s recent tuition study.)

So where can a young person — especially one without a local Promise program — turn for relief? Perhaps Germany? France? Maybe Brazil?

In October Rick Noack of the Washington Post took a look at some foreign options, where the focus of higher education is more about bolstering a nation’s economy than a particular school’s. In Germany, for example, there is no tuition. No fees, either. And that would include American citizens.

Wrote Noack: “Explaining the change, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg, said tuition fees ‘discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study.  It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.’”

If only officials at U.S. colleges better understood the “public good.”

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