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Education As Entitlement

By Professor Doom


Even though higher education is, for the vast bulk of students in the system, a complete fraud, and has been so for years, there doesn’t seem to be much of a slowdown as yet, any more than there’s a slowdown in Social Security, welfare, or other government aid programs.

Student: “I couldn’t buy the book because I used the loan check to put a down payment on a car.”

--I totally understand a car is necessary in the modern world…but this student just went into debt for his education, and used the debt to get deeper into debt to get a car. I suspect many students are doing stuff like this…

I have to compare higher education to Federal government aid programs, because that’s what it has turned into today. Great waves of federal money flows into higher education, and much of higher education will collapse if ever the federal tap is shut off.

Think I’m being hyperbolic about comparing higher education to Social Security and welfare? It takes little imagination to see that if Social Security and welfare are suddenly shut off, there will be riots.

What do you suppose will happen if the entitlement program of higher education is shut off? A recent experiment demonstrates:

Police Attack Students Protesting Tuition Hikes in California

The title is a bit misleading, because it isn’t simply the tuition hikes that are at issue. Tuition is hiked every year, and it (usually) doesn’t cause rioting, because, well, the federal loan money is sufficient to cover the hike…it must be nice to have a printing press like that.

The title is most misleading. A quote from the article clarifies the true issue:

“…said she was unable to register this semester because she is an undocumented immigrant who would have to pay out-of-state fees totaling about $3,000 to sign up for classes…”

One of the things that marks an entitlement program is recipients receiving entitlements that, well, they’re not entitled to. It may seem discriminatory, but institutions have “in state” and “out of state” tuition for a very good reason. Most institutions are supported, at least a little bit (and far more in the past) by tax money raised by the state. Since the citizens of the state are subsidizing higher education, it seems fair not to have people from out of state, that didn’t pay the taxes, take advantage of the subsidy, even if their taxes supported higher education in their own state.

So, “out of state” students get the shaft, paying much more in tuition than “in state” students. It’s rather strange, since “out of state” drivers don’t have to pay extra to use the roads in another state, and, heck, “out of state” consumers of most everything don’t pay extra in any way for anything, but education is different. I guess.

Now read that quote from the article again: an “undocumented immigrant” (apologies for the politically correct phrase) is upset that she’s not getting her entitlement. She acknowledges she’s not from the state, and, very likely, not even from this country, but still thinks she should be classified as “in state”.

If it was just her, this would merely be a “lone nut” story of no more than passing interest, but a few hundred people showed up to protest eliminating this entitlement program, where “undocumented immigrants” would count as “in state” students.


Again, the article glosses over administration’s role in all this. In the past, some administrator got the bright idea that “if we count undocumented immigrants as being in state, we can improve growth. Screwing over the taxpayers means nothing to me, haha!” Since the idea did improve growth, screwing over taxpayers meant nothing to anyone else in admin either, and so the idea was passed. Lo and behold, we have a new entitlement program, with recipients that, frankly, don’t have it coming.

The comments section adds that it may have been the protesting students that initiated the violence (and not, as the already misleading title implies, the police). I’ll leave consideration of police misbehavior to other venues.

The point is still: the thought of ending this entitlement program led to violence.

Student: “I maxed out my credit cards, then used the money from that to pay off as much as I could for my student loan. I’m declaring bankruptcy.”

--a clever abuse of the system. He can clear his credit card debt through bankruptcy, but can’t clear his student loan in that way. I can’t decide if this is clever, evil, or stupid. Pretty sure it’s not stupid, though. How much of the current American economy is just debt being traded for debt?

Throughout the country, people are abusing the Pell Grant scam, using that entitlement program to get money they don’t deserve. Only slightly more legitimately, people are taking out college loans at bogus (i.e., “most”) institutions, and living off the money after the institution gets their hefty cut. How is this any different than welfare?

Other than much worse, I mean, since welfare doesn’t need to be paid back with interest.

I’ll talk more of this next time, because most people don’t realize how much the student loan entitlement programs are propping up our sickly economy. Because of this ignorance, I suspect this will be among the first entitlement program to be cut completely—technically, it’s being cut in increments right now, with each increase in tuition.

When it goes completely, will we see small riots everywhere? Will we understand that the small riots are merely precursors to what will happen when the major entitlement programs inevitably fail?


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