Gov. Perry Pushes $10,000 College Cost Initiative

Gov. Perry Pushes $10,000 College Cost Initiative
  • Opening Intro -

    There is one statement the vast majority of us can agree with – college is much too expensive for most students.

    Certainly, college scholarships, grants and discounting can reduce the cost of a college education significantly, but many students are graduating college with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, with little hope of finding a good paying job to begin tackling their student loans.

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Is cheaper college education on the way?

Perry’s Plan

Well, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who also happens to be candidating for the job as the next president of the United States, has another campaign in the works. That campaign is calling for Texas university presidents to find a way to educate students for just $10,000 total for four years of education, books included, reports the Austin Statesman.

On the surface, Perry’s plan seems far-fetched, but it could lead to a reversal in the ever spiraling upward college cost cycle. In the governor’s state of the state address to Texans this past February, Perry challenged Texas college and university presidents to aim for that goal, but he also offered a larger and potentially easier to reach goal of containing costs to help schools reduce overhead.

Bill Gates

The Perry plan was inspired by someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum, namely Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and an educational philanthropist. Gates, in a YouTube video said, “College, except for the parties, needs to be less place-based.” Gates noted that web-based instruction and other technologies can reduce the price of college to about $2,000 a year.

Texas college administrators aren’t necessarily in agreement with Perry’s proposal, finding that goal beyond reach. However, three community colleges in Texas are currently offering bachelor’s degrees in applied technology for about $10,000, but that amount does not include books which can cost half as much as tuition.

College Expenses

One way for colleges to reign in costs is to examine every program offered at their respective schools and the salaries paid to staff. Very few football programs turn a profit, but for those that do, justifying a multi-million dollar coaching staff salary may make sense. Otherwise, trimming the athletic staff budget seems reasonable.

Some university presidents across the country are millions as well, pulling in base salaries, bonuses and benefits well into seven-figure territory. Full professors are often well paid too, with some earning fully paid sabbaticals for not teaching.

National Campaign

Perry has yet to raise the cost of college education in campaign for president. If he were to do so, it would be interesting to see how the other candidates respond, including the sitting president, Barack H. Obama.

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Categories: Campus News