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It’s Time to Raise Tuition

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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By Myles Kempf

 

An article was recently published outlining an attack against proponents of the Zero Tuition movement in Canada. The authors proposed a mild and quote “reasonable” argument in favour of tuition fees. They argue that it is economically irresponsible for a society to pay its students’ tuition, as this has no correlative effect on the statistics of general participation or low-income participation in post-secondary education. Not only that, but Canada can’t afford to pay its starving professors, let alone tuition too. What is economically responsible is a sudden, unexpected rise in tuition fees.

By raising tuition fees to within the highest feasibly payable limits, students will sustain the highest cost-benefit rate of cash-flow to our economy possible, just to get a degree in some ludicrous liberal art, mind-expanding subject. After all, students are a resource, and right now they are being underused in Canada. Let them study the whirlpool of philosophy, the fantasies of literature and the repetitions of history. And let them fuel the economy to do so, but optimize their costs for the economy’s sake.

By increasing their debts, we ensure that our students will be paying money directly into the economy for decades to come. Can the Zero Tuition advocates offer that? The Zero Tuition campaign encourages communism and discourages placing one’s self worth in material goods by encouraging students to learn for their own self-growth. Zero Tuition will ruin the economy.

Students want to go to school. They will pay mounds of money for student discounts at local businesses, to ‘find themselves’, or even just to be graced by the sweet brilliance of their intellectual heroes. We should take advantage of this by raising tuition as far as students will pay. With their increased lifetime earnings, they will be able to amply pay off their debt, income taxes, and still have plenty of money left over for gluten free ramen. In addition, we can reduce costs and augment our steady flow of debt-money by converting all bursary programs into high interest loan programs.

If a student approaches you demanding that we lower tuition or that they can’t afford the basic amenities, do not run away. Instead, offer them one of these tips to help them save money, then back away slowly without breaking eye contact:

  1. If you get really hungry, try to catch a pizza-fed squirrel. The fat ones are slower and have a higher caloric value.
  2. Meat is expensive, but you live on a campus full of livestock, so it’s “potentially free.”
  3. Stand in the rain. It’s both romantic and a great alternative to proper hygiene.
  4. Steal leaves from campus trees to save on toilet paper.
  5. Let your hair grow very long, then fashion it into clothing. You may need to cut it off first. Or not, your call.
  6. Rent costs can be reduced by 100% by pretending you’re going to paint the cannon every night and sleeping in Branion plaza.
  7. When you’re feeling down from thinking about your tuition fees and debt, think of better times, like when you’ll have paid them off in thirty years.

You might be hesitant, or even on the fence about this issue, but rest assured, the key to a strong economy is one with universities that operate like degree factories. The worry that low-income families might not be able to pay is obviously false. With the wide availability of loans, those that want to participate still will. And as a post-secondary degree is becoming ever more valuable, some might even say necessary in today’s job market, fewer young people will be able to find work without buying in to this highly profitable system. For those of you who disagree, I encourage you to speak up, as it will serve to strengthen the case for high-tuition by comparison.

The average debt of Canadian students is still so much weaker than that of our big brother, America. Luckily, there is a steady trend in Canada toward university funding by tuition, rather than by the government. By adopting the highest tuition fees possible, we will encourage prospective students to attend by increasing the prestige factor offered only by a university education. The only difference between the University of Guelph and Harvard is a couple thousand dollars of debt per student. Those that are inevitably dissuaded by the financial constraints will be forced into working in the trades, an obvious economic benefit.

So instead of just sharing the burden with students, we ought to push them to pay for the privilege of attending institutions of higher learning. The mighty loonie has fallen and can’t get up. Jump start our economy by dumping debt on today’s youth.

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