Making college free is one of the biggest rallying cries among Democratic White House hopefuls. Given the lengths to which many wealthy parents go to game the system that is unsurprising. Last week’s FBI arrest of dozens of parents, coaches and college administrators shows just how valuable admission to the best universities has become. One Yale applicant’s parents lavished $1.2m in bribes and fake profiles to gain entry.
The contrast to how the other 99 per cent fares could hardly be starker. The price of US higher education has skyrocketed. A four-year college degree now costs anywhere between $80,000 and $300,000 for tuition alone, while America’s median household annual income is $58,000.
Meanwhile, a growing share of Americans have been dropping out. Less than half of students complete their