Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mitt Romney Thinks Students Should Aim Lower

Posted by on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM

The New York Times yesterday reported on why Mitt Romney could have a hard time capturing the youth vote in November:

The high school senior who stood up at Mitt Romney’s town hall meeting here today was worried about how he and his family would pay for college, and wanted to hear what the candidate would do about rising college costs if elected. He didn’t realize that Mr. Romney was about to use him to demonstrate his fiscal conservatism to the crowd.
“It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” he said, to sustained applause from the crowd at a high-tech metals assembly factory here. “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”

...the advice was pretty brutal: if you can’t afford college, look around for a scholarship (good luck with that), try to graduate in less than four years, or join the military if you want a free education.

What an uplifting message! People love hearing pragmatic advice about dashing their hopes and dreams—especially when it's helpfully offered by a quarter-billionaire.


Comments (41) RSS

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keshmeshi 41

Facts are facts.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
You call him elitist then you call community college shitty?
Fuck you!
Posted by anal smith on March 7, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
@13 & 14, nobody chooses a college because it's expensive. Nobody! Most people choose a college based on the value they expect to get out of it. Does the college have the program I want? Does it have the extra curriculars I want? Does it have a good job placement program with a record of getting people jobs when they graduate? Is it in an area I want to be in or will I have to live out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of ignorant podunk hick Santorum supporters? Absolutely nobody says I want to go to the most expensive school possible because it's the most expensive.

What Romney is suggesting is that students should ignore value and find a college solely based on price. If that's the case then everyone who isn't a Romney will have to go to some shitty community college, get a shitty education and a shitty experience because that's what they can afford. Fuck Romney and all of you ignorant fucks who agree with him and his ilk that things like education and health care should be purchased solely on price instead of what's going to give good results.
Posted by Root on March 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Stiny 38
Well, duh, he should just eat cake!
Posted by Stiny on March 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
@35 Actually, I found that Carnegie Mellon had an excellent financial aid department. This is likely because CMU doesn't really make its money off of tuition. I mean, sure, it gets money from there, but it gets a lot more money out of other things. Government research, I think. Anyhow, the school is pretty well-funded. Although if your parents have money, but aren't willing to help you, then you are totally screwed. On a side note, I went to CMU even though Cornell was my first choice of the schools that accepted me. Cornell wouldn't even offer me the nice loans that don't have horrendous interest rates. CMU offered me an excellent financial aid package. So, the ivies aren't always cheaper. Although it is worth noting that I also had a merit-based scholarship from CMU. So, I had both merit-based and need-based funding helping me out. (Cornell offered me neither.) All that stated, given how much tuition has increased recently, I'm glad I went to school over a decade ago.
Posted by uncreative on March 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 36
It's nice to know that the Republican candidate for president is on the record opposing educating the next generation(s), inspiring innovation, and making this country competitive. That's what higher education is supposed to do. That's, in fact, what it does in countries where half the country doesn't shit on the "intellectual elite". That's what it did in this country when half the political landscape didn't oppose financial aid or fully financing higher ed on "principle".

The United States' long slide into irrelevance continues.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 6, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
laterite 35
Actually, if you're one of The Poors, but manage to get into an Ivy League school, you pretty much don't have to worry about how to pay for it. The Ivies have generous needs-based financial aid packages available with no repayment required. Their endowments cover it. It's students who go to the lower 1st-Tier and upper 2nd-Tier schools who pay out the ass for private and federal non-dischargeable student loans to cover the exorbitant tuition. Your Northeasterns, Tufts, Carnegie Mellons, George Washingtons, what have you. The public schools in those tiers are no better. You're on your own, kids!
Posted by laterite on March 6, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 34
@23: she can still pull it out of the toilet with a JD from harvard or yale.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM · Report this
I'm a big fan of community college. It worked out okay for me.
Posted by floater on March 6, 2012 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Both Romney's comments and Constant's critique are off the mark. It isn't clear the senior was trying to go to an expensive college. Maybe he just wanted to go to the state college. If he lived in Washington, Michigan, California, or many other states, the state college could be one of the best colleges (public or private) in the world. The problem is, the kid can't afford it. For this senior, the option of going "to one that has a little lower price" means that the kid (or his family) will be saddled with enormous debt.

The reason is obvious. Most states have huge financial problems. They can't print their own money, so the financial downturn hurts them at the wrong time. The obvious solution is for the federal government to bail out the states. This makes obvious sense to any mainstream economist. Spend money when the economy is down. Help the economy while improving our competitiveness. Of course, the Republicans (Romney included) have suggested the ridiculous notion that we should cut spending to help the economy. Only lunatic economists (who must hang out with climate deniers) and Republicans believe this. Even Gingrich doesn't believe it. But somehow the other Republicans have spread this ridiculous notion for so long that way too many people buy into it.
Posted by Ross on March 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
I don't think the question is "what should I do in the CURRENT economic/political situation".

But instead "what are you going to do to IMPROVE the current economic/political situation so that more people CAN afford additional education after high school".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on March 6, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Hernandez 30
@27 That was the main thing I took away from it too. Romney isn't trying to dole out sensible education advice, he's positioning himself as anti-financial aid.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on March 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
It's not terrible advice, and it doesn't mean that you have to "settle" on your school selection:

After grants and assistance are calculated in, Harvard is less expensive than Cal State for middle-income students. So is Yale.
Posted by doceb on March 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
switzerblog 28
He's Forster's Mr. Wilcox. "The poor are poor, and one's sorry for them, but there it is."
Posted by switzerblog on March 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Baconcat 27
It would be easy to take his comments at face value, to say they're sensible and all that, but Romney signals in his comments a policy position that would continue the erosion of funding for education. And it also suggests his plan to be Obama's polar opposition on financial aid.

Plus he preemptively blames students for their choices in how they deal with what was once a system that valued educational opportunities.
Posted by Baconcat on March 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
The problem is that the previously less expensive options, like state schools or smaller, less well known schools, hell even community and technical colleges are increasing their tuition at breakneck pace.

Here in Washington, the UW ( a good school that used to be very affordable) has increased its tuition by more than 100% in the last five years. Prior to this recession, it would take 10 years to double tuition. Every year, for the last five, the state schools have increased their tuition by 14-20%.

Those are the state schools, the ones Romney is probably intending for the kid to look at when he says the boy should aim lower.

The Community and Technical schools aren't doing much better, either. Their tuitions are increasing rapidly too.

The cost to attend any kind of post-secondary education is growing at a rate that makes further education inaccessible to many. Who has the money on hand to pay for an education where the price jumps by double digits each year? You could take loans, but that's deemed irresponsible.
Posted by Queerly Yours on March 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
pfffter 25
@22 Yes, it's true you might not get into a class with a famous professor, but that doesn't mean all the non-famous ones aren't great teachers. I went to Duke, had a mediocre class with a famous prof, but many great classes with profs who will probably never be famous. Maybe Harvard treats their undergrads like shit, but that wasn't my experience.

Also, "less expensive" colleges can end up being more expensive on the student in the long run. I guess it depends on each student's academics, but almost all of my tuition was paid out of Duke's endowment. Granted, that was twenty years ago, but I don't think the Duke endowment has shrunk by much or is stingy with financial aid. Anyway, I would have paid far more at a Virginia state school than I ever did at Duke.
Posted by pfffter on March 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
How are kids supposed to get glamorous, high-paying jobs at places like The Stranger without an Ivy League education?
Posted by Reader01 on March 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 23


Ya Think?

Princeton grad works at a video store

Brittney Winters graduated from Princeton in 2009, expecting to use her double major in French and Spanish to get a teaching job. But aside from some freelance tutoring, the jobs she's been able to find -- waitress, public relations and video store clerk -- have all been outside her fields of study.

"The degree I have isn't obviously marketable," she said. "I don't regret what I studied. If I was going to spend four years and God knows how much money, I might as well study something I like."

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on March 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Fnarf 22
@9, a Harvard or Yale degree is worth a fortune, just sitting there on your resume. It puts you in a different class. But that has nothing to do with education; your undergraduate education will be worse than at plenty of lesser institutions. Harvard treats their undergrads like shit; you will be lucky to even catch a glimpse of your famous professors from across Mass Ave. Postgrad is a different story.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on March 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Oooh, I think I would choose to attend a college -- or perhaps a third grade class -- that might have taught me the difference between who's and whose.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on March 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 20
Path to success?

Model yourself by becoming an octogenarian Surgical Nurse with an adult child living in the basement!

81-year-old R.I. woman wins $336.4M Powerball

An 81-year-old Newport, R.I., woman kept her lottery ticket in her Bible after realizing she had won last month's $336.4 million Powerball, The Newport Daily News reports.

Louise White went public today at a news conference in Cranston, R.I.

"I'm very happy and I'm very proud," White said. "It will make my family very happy, and we are truly blessed."

The newspaper says White lives with her son, LeRoy White, a local musician, and his wife, Deborah, a surgical nurse at Newport Hospital, on the seaside city's south side. LeRoy White is listed as a member of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.


So, for a $10 ticket, this woman made in one day the entire Romney fortune. Is she to be praised, despised or feared?

A new member of the 0.1% is born.

Kids...follow her "Path To Success" and learn the Ways of the Surgical Nurse. Read my forthcoming e-Book, "Nurse Power: The Nine Ways Highly Successful Lottery Winners Bring in The Cash".
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on March 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
In your heart you know he's right 19
I'm an Obama voter but Romney's ideas are spot on. There are way too many people in universities racking up debt for useless degrees that will never pay off. We need more people in trade schools and tech schools.
Posted by In your heart you know he's right on March 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
pfffter 18
@13 I guess at state schools they don't teach the difference between whose and who's.
Posted by pfffter on March 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
@9 cites the ever popular "Studies I've read...":

Yeah, that is good advice you moron. Studies i've read at least show that student who go to cheaper colleges make more and hold less debt after.

You're right, those Harvard and Yale and Stanford grads don't do anywhere near as well financially than those who attend The Evergreen State College. And just where did Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Ballmer and our last five presidents go to college, Central Washington?

Care to cite those "studies you've read?"
Posted by bigyaz on March 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 16
I think what Paul Constant is trying to say is that lower priced colleges are shit and people who go to them are worthless. That's what he means about dashing your hopes and dreams. There's either top-priced colleges or there's the toilet, WSU for example. And the GI Bill is for stuipids. That too.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on March 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
This is one the few occasions I kind of agree with Romney. An expensive college education is not going to do much for most lower income kids who aren't going into petroleum engineering, medicine, or something like that. God forbid liberal arts. Not sure how many more web sites we can all design for each other, either.

20 somethings are probably better off skipping the debt and delay of an expensive 4 year school and go the entrepreneurial route (leveraging all the free instruction on the internet) any way they can. That sucks. But it's the way it is.

This economy is the new normal for the next decade at least. If not longer. No matter who get's elected. 40 years of bubbles and losing your hegemonic edge will do that. People better adjust. Change is not coming quickly.
Posted by tkc on March 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
"a diploma is a diploma and connections can be made at any college."

Not really. If you're going to (State Name) (State) University, or, heaven forbid, (Direction) (State Name) University for a non-technical degree, and it's not for free, you probably shouldn't bother
Posted by Reader01 on March 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this

People who's hopes and dreams are to pay 50k a year to think they are getting a better education that kids at states schools DESERVE to have their hopes and dreams dashed because that's a stupid hope and an even dumber dream.

Unless one is flying above their college and shitting on the deans office. That would be a pretty ok dream.
Posted by anal smith on March 6, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Yes, go to that school that's only $40k a year instead of $50k. Hell. anyone can afford $40k a year.
Posted by bigyaz on March 6, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
SpecialBrew 11
Romney must not have got the memo that as of late the US military's college tuition subsidizing mainly is going to online college programs of dubious merit.
Posted by SpecialBrew on March 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
He should aim lower, say to shine Mr. Romney's shoes perhaps.. a service for which he will happily pay $2 per week.
Or happily fire said shiner, if he fails to provide the level of service Mr. Romney expects from a $2 dollar per week shoe shine person.
Posted by xcowardx on March 6, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Yeah, that is good advice you moron. Studies i've read at least show that student who go to cheaper colleges make more and hold less debt after.

People only go to the most expensive schools because they are duped into believing they are paying for more but in reality, in the end, a diploma is a diploma and connections can be made at any college.

Fuck you Paul Constant, go back to your stupid liberal arts college and write for the paper there where they don't take out articles even if they are shitty and dumb.
Posted by anal smith on March 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
ams_ 8
"Go to community college. We don't want anymore Obamas"
Posted by ams_ on March 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Seen that Change.org petition asking clear channel to shitcan Rush Limbaugh? It is on fire! 100,000 signings since maybe 11 am?
Posted by sh!tcan Rush on March 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
balderdash 6
Yeah, I have to say that in the current climate, under any regime we're realistically going to get in the US any time soon, he's actually pretty much right. He might also have mentioned that a huge number of people who either go to a four-year school, or don't go to college at all, might benefit from trade school, and that that choice shouldn't be stigmatized as second-best.

Of course, the alternative to "Give up your dreams because we live in a system that doesn't care about you," which for some reason he fails to present here, is "Elect people who will reform our shitty semi-privatized educational system." But I guess if you have more money than anyone could possibly ever realistically know what to do with, and you consider the success of a people to be solely constituted by continuing to swing the biggest military stick in the world, you probably don't see a real pressing need for reform, do you?
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on March 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
pfffter 5
He should've just told the poor student that he can be rich in spirit instead of going to college.
Posted by pfffter on March 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
pfffter 4
HAHAHAHA Keep talking, moneybags, keep talking!
Posted by pfffter on March 6, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
"Don’t just go to one that has the highest price"? Is that how you chose, rich boy?
Posted by Max Solomon on March 6, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
The stock Republican response would have been cut taxes/create jobs. That way the kid's parents will have more money to pay for his education.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on March 6, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
well, it *is* good advice.
Posted by semi-crepuscular on March 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this

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