College Fix Staff

‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’

Writing for the Hillsdale Collegian, student Arielle Mueller offers a powerful personal anecdote on working to pay for college, a story that stands in stark contrast to President Obama’s giveaway mentality.

She also explains why Obama’s “free” college offer will cost this country billions and strap the middle class with massive debt. Mueller writes:

“We still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need,” said President Obama on Tuesday night, in his State of the Union speech. “That’s why I’m sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero.”

The president’s words reminded me of my own expe­rience. Before coming to Hillsdale College, I went to a state university, where I worked two jobs to help pay my bills. I learned that education is an investment that requires sacrifice — and I came to appreciate one of my father’s favorite sayings: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Obama hopes to make two years of community college free for up to nine million Americans, a plan he dubs America’s College Promise. Under this program, federal funding would absorb 75 percent of the average cost of community college, while states would contribute the remaining funds. To be eligible, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and “make steady progress” toward grad­uation. Community colleges would then have to award voca­tional certificates or permit students to transfer to four-year colleges with half the credits needed for a bachelor’s degree.

Upon first glance, the president’s proposal seems like a good solution to a growing problem. Offering a free education would equip more students with the knowledge and skills they need to compete in our growing global economy but without the heavy burden of debt. A free education seems too good to be true.

So what’s the catch?

Obama may try to sell his proposal as “free,” but it comes at a monu­mental cost to the American people. Taxpayers will face a price tag of $60 billion over ten years. These taxpayers are all of us, including the “veterans and single parents” who, as Obama suggested in his speech, are the target bene­fi­ciaries. The same people who receive Obama’s free education will be paying it back later through higher taxes and mounting national debt.

Read the full column.

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It seems the University of Oklahoma suffers from the same “problem” as other American colleges: It’s not (allegedly) “doing enough” for the school’s minority community.

A couple of evenings ago, a group dubbed “Unheard” offered up some gripes at a town hall meeting. Members will officially meet with Sooner President David Boren this coming Wednesday.

Unheard delivered seven grievances it has with OU. The first is one commonly heard on college campuses: lack of black faculty.

The Oklahoma Daily reports:

There are few black professors at OU, especially in the STEM departments, mechanical engineering junior Alexis Hall said. Throughout her time at OU, she has never had a black professor within her major, she said.

The students then talked about low retention rates among black students at OU — often due to a lack of financial aid and support on campus, group members said.

[Junior Meagan] Johnson has been at OU for six semesters, and she can name at least two black students who have left the university during each term, she said. They either couldn’t afford to keep attending or did not feel welcome on campus, Johnson said.

Directly related to low retention, the students of Unheard talked about a lack of financial aid for black students, many of whom need to work throughout their college careers to make it through.

“Our grievances, they’re a domino effect,” [junior Naome] Kadira said. “One affects the other.”

Hall recounted times that she had been to the financial aid office and had been turned away. It was discouraging to meet with white financial advisers who she felt couldn’t fully understand her situation, Hall said.

In addition to funding, supportive programs for black students are also necessary to make all students on campus feel welcome, the students of Unheard said.

Does anyone believe that American campuses do not go out of their way to hire faculty of color? To make minority students feel welcome?

In addition, how is it that one can only learn if the instructor “looks like you?” And, if a campus is so “unwelcoming,” why would someone choose to attend it?

Read the full article.

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Wow – the editor of The Princetonian campus newspaper has a strong message for his peers – the news media is not there to push their politically correct agenda.

In a letter from the editor this week, the outgoing editor-in-chief of the campus paper called out his fellow students, declaring “I have been surprised by the retaliation some of our writers have had to face not from angry administrators but from their peers, other students who did not appreciate stories that negatively portrayed certain aspects of student life on campus.”

Editor Marcelo Rochabrun went on:

I was taken aback that most of the pushback against the paper this year came from other students rather than from the administration …dprince

A vocal minority of the student body has come to expect a paper that, if it does not properly advocate for the interest of the students, at least presents a semblance of solidarity with its peers. In short, that we play nice when we discuss one of our own. One particular comment on a recent arrest story was symptomatic of this thinking, a student wrote: “It’s amazing to see student publications more concerned with disgracing their student body than actually publishing thought provoking news.”

Here at the ‘Prince,’ our reporters try to be journalists first, students second. Our stories are not attacks against our peers or attempts to disgrace them, but an attempt to provide prompt, relevant information to the University community even when the content of our stories may afflict some of our readers, such as those who are personally close to the story, those who feel we ought not to tarnish Princeton’s reputation or those who will not be portrayed in a positive light. In addition, we treat all of our sources like who they are: adults. We have no deference to our peers and we have no deference to administrators.

It’s nice to see a student stand up for common sense and put the smack down on hypersensitive peers.

Read the full column.

h/t: Business Insider

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Here is what happens when you have the “correct” ideals which neatly fit the prevailing media narrative: You get a lengthy article by a major city’s leading newspaper dedicated to your … “protest.”

Lou Ann Merkle, a 61 year-old teacher among other things, is shaving her head with friend Sylvia Metzler as “a symbol of grievance and mourning that stretches through societies and cultures back to the Old Testament.” For what, you ask?

Because “they are weary of seeing black and brown people die in the nation’s streets.”

And you’ve probably guessed why already: They’re “upset … reading story after story of black men being killed [by police] in the street with no one being prosecuted.”

Here’s a photo of the duo, complete with a “Black Lives Matter” wall sign.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (via reports:

A month ago, news broke of the Senate report on CIA torture, which found that detainees were subjected to far worse treatment than had been known. To Metzler, the findings seemed like one more affront, piled upon the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y.

Metzler tossed and turned all night, then awoke at 5 a.m. with one thought: “I’m going to shave my head.”

“It went right to my heart,” Merkle said. “I thought, I have to do this. I’m upset with sitting here and reading story after story of black men being killed in the street with no one being prosecuted. And I was deeply troubled by the information in the Senate report.”

Shaving her head, she thought, would force her to surrender something beautiful and comforting, in its place creating a visual signal of distress and disagreement.

“I’m just an ordinary person,” Merkle said. “When I wake up in the morning and I don’t have a head of hair, I’m uncomfortable – but Eric Garner’s wife and children are more uncomfortable than I’ll ever be.”

Jason Del Gandio, who studies public advocacy at Temple University, says that head shaving “demonstrates, to oneself and others, that the individual is willing to take action.”

St. Joseph’s University Bible scholar Bruce Wells notes that head shaving “could be a sign of changing status,” according the Old Testament. “A captive war bride might shave her head in mourning for her lost family, a parent to grieve the loss of a child,” he says.

Merkle and Metzler will be participating in a march in downtown Philly on Monday, Martin Luther King Day. Organizers of the march say they’ll be “marching for justice, jobs, and education.”

“Specifically, they want an end to ‘stop and frisk’ police practices and creation of a powerful oversight board; a raise to $15 an hour as the minimum wage; and a fully funded, democratically run school system.”

Ah, there we go. Old school “progressive” politics. No wonder this duo got so much ink.

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In case you missed it, National Review’s Rich Lowry penned a great column recently that dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Fainting Couch,” in which he chronicled in part how whiny some college students were last year. There was no shortage of examples:

It was a year when the nation’s colleges and law schools cemented their reputations as places where easily offended children go for a few years to become slightly older easily offended children. Colleges canceled appearances by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Condi Rice (who technically pulled out of her scheduled Rutgers commencement), and George F. Will for fear students might hear something they disagree with from a figure they object to. The University of California, Irvine, offered grief counseling (“in a constructive space”) for students upset at the grand-jury decision in the Ferguson case, and Occidental College brought in a religious counselor to comfort students who had volunteered for losing Democratic Senate campaigns.

An open letter from law students at Harvard upset at the nonindictments in the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases captured the spirit of the year, and deserves an honored place in the history of the rhetoric of plaint. Its opening included the stirring declaration “We are in pain. And we are tired.” It went on to speak of how “traumatized” the students are (multiple times), and of their “distress” (multiple times). It charged that the school’s indifference to “the mental health” of its students violates the Harvard Law School Handbook of Academic Policies.

The upshot was that the aggrieved students wanted the administration to offer them a collective pacifier. “We call,” the letter thundered, “for faculty to hold special office hours and for the administration to make culturally competent grief and trauma counselors available in the final weeks of the semester.” It demanded more conversations about injustice “in safe spaces created by the administration.” And it expected students to be permitted to delay their exams — because what are the exertions of studying compared with satisfactions of wallowing in a precious self-pity?

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The Associated Press reports that Crystal Mangum, whose accusations of gang rape against Duke University lacrosse players were revealed to be fake, has appealed her conviction in the stabbing death of her boyfriend:

Attorney Ann Petersen asks that Mangum get a new trial. Petersen says the jury shouldn’t have been allowed to hear evidence about an attack on another man in February 2010.

Magnum has said she stabbed her boyfriend, 46-year-old Reginald Daye, in self-defense because he was beating her in 2011.

Read the AP story.

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