Monday, October 13, 2014

More important to tackle the right question

The Olympian
October 13th, 2014


...We can be better. In some places, we are doing better. Last year, students from Portland State University posited a plan to deal with rising student debt.
Building on the Pay It Forward plan developed by John Burbank of Seattle’s Economic Opportunity Institute, PSU students proposed that tuition and fees to public universities be eliminated as up-front costs. Instead, graduates would pay back the cost of both with a percentage of their salary over a period of time.
Students presented their plan to legislators, and in July 2013, HB 3472 passed, charging the Oregon Higher Education Commission to consider the creation of a Pay Forward, Pay Back pilot program. Approval is being sought now to test a revised version of the proposal in 2015.
A guaranteed minimum income provides a floor — access to education gives people the opportunity to reach higher. Not only that, access to a quality education is the primary means we have to prevent the solidification of an elite class, what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “an unnatural aristocracy.”

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