October 31, 2017

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (103117)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.



  1. The unintended consequences of free college.


    Who Pays for Free College? Crowding Out on Campus


    Many countries have discussed or considered making college free. While the effect that a financial aid package has on any given student is well understood, how poor students – who already benefit from financial aid – would be affected by free college is unclear. Poor students might benefit from more generous financial aid, however less targeted aid is likely to motivate newly eligible students to change their application behavior to college potentially increasing
    competition for limited seats. This could crowd out poor students, who are usually at a disadvantage in competitive admission processes. [...]

    I show that free tuition would need to be accompanied by a capacity expansion of 10% in university programs in order to keep poor students enrollment rate at its baseline level, and that it would need to expand by
    more than 20% not to displace poor students who enrolled at baseline. It is unclear that institutions will be willing to expand their capacities at this level, so policy makers should incorporate capacities as part of the design of financial aid expansions. On the other hand, even if capacities are fixed, policy makers could introduce universal financial aid without hurting poor students’ enrollment rates by means-testing the amount of aid each student gets. These results suggest that free college might hurt poor students’ enrollment opportunities if designed incorrectly. [...]

    I’m curious how Bernie Sanders would respond to this paper.

    Comment by Par for the Course — October 31, 2017 @ 7:19 am

  2. There’s no chance the quality of education would improve.

    Comment by Tom — October 31, 2017 @ 6:04 pm

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