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AUFan2015
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Member since Oct 2013
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What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
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quote:

It’s not just higher taxes.
The higher-education system in Finland is supposedly every American progressive’s dream. The Finnish government pays 96 percent of the total cost of providing young Finns with a college education; almost all domestic students at Finnish universities pay nothing in tuition.

Indeed, Finland subsidizes its universities more than any other country in the developed world. American advocates of free college say that if Finland can do it, so can we. But there’s a catch to the Finnish model, and it’s not just higher taxes.

Finland offers a nice deal for students only if they are lucky and talented enough to get in. In 2016, Finnish institutions of higher education accepted just 33 percent of applicants.

That’s the degree of selectivity we’d expect from an elite college in America, yet that is the admissions rate for Finland’s entire university system. There is a price to pay for that kind of selectivity: Finland ranks in the bottom third of developed countries for college-degree attainment.

Meanwhile, the tuition-charging United States ranks in the top third, thanks to open-enrollment policies at many of our colleges and universities, along with private financing and plenty of spots offered through a diverse range of institutions.

The Finnish example reveals a reality often glossed over by politicians and activists who advocate mimicking European-style free-college regimes in the United States: government budgets are finite, even when taxes are high. If a government elects to pay for a greater share of each student’s college education, something else has to give.

Perhaps the university system will accept fewer applicants and produce fewer graduates, as is the case in Finland. Or maybe it will spend fewer resources per student, potentially lowering the quality of education.

Finland is evidence that such tradeoffs are not mere theory or a false choice manufactured by miserly conservatives. Nor is Finland the only country where such stark tradeoffs are on display.

In a new report for the American Enterprise Institute, we compare the performance of 35 developed countries on three aspects of their higher-education systems: how many college graduates the system produces, how much funding is available per student overall, and what share of that funding comes from government sources.

In a world of finite resources, these three qualities are inherently in tension with one another, and a government that tries to prioritize one quality usually has to sacrifice one of the others.

We find that the nations of the developed world approach this trade-off in different ways. South Korea, for instance, has the highest college attainment rate in the developed world: 70 percent of young Koreans have earned a college degree.

But all those sheepskins have a steep opportunity cost. South Korea ranks near the bottom on our measures of funding and subsidies, leaving Korean students to pay most of the cost of their education and Korean universities to operate on tight budgets.

This is the natural result of a system that seeks stratospheric college attainment rates with finite public funding: to keep total spending under control, policymakers must make sacrifices.

While some countries prioritize a heavily subsidized higher-education system and others pursue a high college attainment rate, the evidence suggests that it’s almost impossible for a nation to do everything at once.

No large country ranks in the top third of developed nations on all three measures. A nation inevitably has to pick and choose what its higher-education system should emphasize.

Does it want free college at all costs? Or does it want higher degree attainment or better-resourced universities, even if that means that students have to pay some tuition?

The United States has chosen the latter path. America ranks eleventh out of 35 countries on degree attainment, and a striking third on our measure of the total resources available to colleges.
(Some might argue that administrative bloat and unnecessary amenities on American campuses makes the U.S. ranking on this last measure not entirely desirable.)

The United States achieves this high ranking precisely because its government does not insist on picking up every penny of the costs of higher education; we do not prohibit colleges from charging tuition.

Students and their families share the burden, and so the higher-education system can do more than it could if it relied on public funding alone.




TL;DR: College is much harder/more selective to get into in Finland compared to the U.S. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere in order to have free college.


Scruffy
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Member since Jul 2011
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

Finland offers a nice deal for students only if they are lucky and talented enough to get in. In 2016, Finnish institutions of higher education accepted just 33 percent of applicants.
The progressives would lose their fricking minds if that happened.



HailHailtoMichigan!
LSU Fan
Trabuco Canyon, CA
Member since Mar 2012
54603 posts
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:



TL;DR: College is much harder/more selective to get into in Finland compared to the U.S. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere in order to have free college.


Yep. This also applies to Germany and others as wel

If we tried this here, people would scream racism


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41
CAD703X
Toledo Fan
Liberty Island
Member since Jul 2008
59754 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

Finnish institutions of higher education accepted just 33 percent of applicants.


this is what the endgame is.

coastal elites only want fellow coastal elite peers getting educated and becoming the 'ruling class'.



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51
AUstar
Auburn Fan
Member since Dec 2012
10843 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
TL;DR part 2: Finland pays for all tuition but their colleges only accept 1/3rd of applicants. Finland ranks in the bottom third in the developed world in the number of people holding college degrees. The U.S. ranks in the top 3rd.


Zach
LSU Fan
Member since May 2005
95236 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
I have never known anyone from Finland but I did spend a few months with a visitor from Denmark. He was a college student and explained it like this:

'In Denmark we have no poor. But we have no rich. I prefer to take my chances. That is why I want to come to America.'


volod
Southern Fan
Leesville, LA
Member since Jun 2014
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

The progressives would lose their fricking minds if that happened


Which progressives? I don't see a problem with this.

It's not discriminatory except for objective stats.

It would hurt different demographics across the board.

It would promote vocational education which SHOULD have been the standard educational model all along instead of college.


indianswim
LA-Monroe Fan
Plano, TX
Member since Jan 2010
9200 posts
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

The progressives would lose their fricking minds if that happened.



Straight white people wouldn't be allowed in college because our privilege gets us enough already. Only the POC's and other "downtrodden" people would get in just to even things out.


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yatesdog38
Mississippi St. Fan
in your head rent free
Member since Sep 2013
7602 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
what is their healthcare situation like?


SlapahoeTribe
LSU Fan
Tiger Nation
Member since Jul 2012
9213 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

Sacrifices have to be made somewhere in order to have free college.
I bet they don’t have lazy rivers either-

Image: https://www.lsuuniversityrec.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/LSU-UREC-Expansion-and-Redesign-Rendering-Leisure-Pool-Overhead-9.29.14.jpg Width=500


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Lima Whiskey
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Member since Apr 2013
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

'In Denmark we have no poor. But we have no rich. I prefer to take my chances. That is why I want to come to America.'


That’s spot on, and I think is true across Western Europe.

*Except maybe in Belgium and Luxembourg.


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volod
Southern Fan
Leesville, LA
Member since Jun 2014
4633 posts
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

TL;DR part 2: Finland pays for all tuition but their colleges only accept 1/3rd of applicants. Finland ranks in the bottom third in the developed world in the number of people holding college degrees. The U.S. ranks in the top 3rd.


Quality over Quantity Argument.

Does it really matter if we have more college degrees? What matters is "do we have enough marketable people with said degrees"

If Finland has enough graduates for its economy, that's all that matters?


TigerBait1971
LSU Fan
PTC GA
Member since Oct 2014
11915 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

objective stats


Racist


roadGator
Florida Fan
Member since Feb 2009
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
I doubt Finland has many tranny intersectional blah blah degrees.

What a waste we have here. So many completely useless degrees.


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Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
The situation with universal college education, which is what we’re pushing, is analogous to the minimum wage.

Proponents note that poor people don’t make a lot of money. So they suggest raising the minimum wage, ignoring the economic realities of the situation, and that you can’t simply legislate wealth.

They have same problem with college.

Yes, college graduates make more, but giving out degrees willy nilly won’t make us all richer.

It will water down the value of a degree, increase the cost of a degree, and do little for the individuals involved, in the except impose additional costs.

The same small group will do well, except they will have to go to graduate school first. Because a masters is the new bachelors degree.

And the people with just a bachelors degree are saddled with an education they may not have needed. And debt, which they absolutely do not need.

-

The only people who actually benefit are those tied to the university system, and the loan service providers.
This post was edited on 8/16 at 2:44 pm


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Lightning
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since May 2014
179 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

It's not discriminatory except for objective stats. It would hurt different demographics across the board.


What would those “objective stats” be exactly? People already scream that standardized tests are discriminatory and inaccurate. High school grades wouldn’t be a reliable comparison either as the workload and grading at an elite private vs affluent suburban public vs poor inner city/rural are wildly different.

And you must be joking about this affecting different demographics across the board? Our colleges would be comprised primarily of Asian students with a small minority of white students, almost everyone being middle to upper class. That is assuming the objective criteria was standardized testing.
This would NEVER fly in the US!

Do agree with you about the vocational schools though.


volod
Southern Fan
Leesville, LA
Member since Jun 2014
4633 posts
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re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:

Racist


????

I'm black and I don't find it racist.

Some institutions are academically harder than others in the US. That's why we get different results.

Southern University in Baton Rouge is much less rigorous than Louisiana State. That is not racist. That is fact.

Free college isn't possible without a massive overhaul of our system. We should use this a bargaining chip to show the left that's its impossible without isolating their constituents.


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14
ShortyRob
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2008
70458 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
quote:


The progressives would lose their fricking minds if that happened


I've said FOREVER that liberals think that Europeans give the AMERICAN model away for free.

Um. Nope.

Liberals with rate exception, have no fricking idea what they are even advocating for on basically any policy when they mention Europe


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yatesdog38
Mississippi St. Fan
in your head rent free
Member since Sep 2013
7602 posts

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
The internet exists now... so education should be reformed somewhat. It takes tremendously less time to find information. You don't have to comb through an encyclopedia. We need more substance and applicable education. less BS stuff that can be googled more hands on learning the process etc.


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narddogg81
Alabama Fan
Vancouver
Member since Jan 2012
13493 posts
 Online 

re: What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College
They also don't talk about how this impacts high schoolers. In most of Europe it's determined if you will even be eligible for college by the educational track you are placed on as early as elementary school. You literally cannot be admitted to University in places like France if you didn't get placed in the right track.


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