Opposing Views: Government subsidization of higher education

The issue of the government's proper role in higher education has been a part of the presidential campaign platforms of candidates on both sides of the aisle from Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Their proposals range from free community college, income-based debt repayment and funding from private investors. To that end, The Crimson White is proud to present the opposing views of these two staff columnists, specifically focusing on whether or not governments should subsidize higher education.

Board raises tuition

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase on June 15 in an attempt to rely less on state funding, which has decreased by an approximate $174 million for the entire system since 2008. “Each year, we work with each campus to come up with their recommendations, and, as you can tell, they vary by campus,” Ray Hayes, vice chancellor for financial affairs of the UA system, said. Hayes sees the changes as being significant, yet necessary. “It’s just a fact,” he said.

Obama tuition policy could 'dilute' quality of education

In his State of the Union address two weeks ago, President Obama discussed issues on every college student’s mind: the rise of tuition costs and interest rates on student loans. “Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever,” Obama said while addressing an audience at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor three days after the State of the Union speech.

Obama: college too expensive

[caption id="attachment_28820" align="alignright" width="222" caption="U.S. President Barack Obama gives the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Returning students awarded scholarships

The College of Continuing Studies awarded $50,000 to cover the cost of tuition for 20 students who have had a gap in the pursuit of receiving their college degrees. Each student received $2,500, provided by the Osher Reentry Scholarship, according to a UA news release. “Adult students face many challenges as they return to college: juggling full time jobs, family responsibilities and multiple demands on time and money,” said Carolyn Dahl, dean of the College of Continuing Studies.