When Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich made a stop in Salisbury, he was quizzed by students in Salisbury University. One student asked him what he would do about students facing large student loan debt, as well as those who want to enter college without having to incur thousands of dollars in debt.
Gingrich’s said that he is in favor of adopting a model of higher education being implemented in the College of the Ozarks.
The Christian college brands itself as a “Hard Work U” where students are “not charged a tuition but work for their education instead”. The college also boasts that students can graduate without debt while developing character.
Gingrich also says that he would focus on boosting the economy and getting more jobs for students when they graduate. He could not resist taking a swipe at President Obama as well, who Gingrich accused of being proud that “the length of time you could be on your parents’ insurance is now until you’re 26.”
A plan similar to what is already being implemented in the College of the Ozarks is being proposed in the University of California, albeit less focused on religion and charity.
A group called “Fix UC” is pushing for a no-tuition college proposal requiring graduates to pay 5% of their wages for the next two decades in exchange for a free college education. Discounts would be offered to transfer students, grads who work in public service and those that opt to work in the state.
This sounds like a much more attractive plan. Colleges will be incentivized to make sure their grads get good jobs, as the success of their graduates translates to their ability to pay off their tuition. This is unlike the current student loan model, which will squeeze you to pay your debts regardless of whether you get a good job or not.