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Students can afford $X to pay for college, based upon their assessment of the value of the education. The amount of tuition they colleges can then collect is ($X)x(number of students).
The State and the Fed want to help everyone, so they chip in $Y to every student in loans, grants, and assistance. Do colleges now collect $X-$Y from the students? No, why should they? Instead they charge $X+$Y. And everyone is happy. (Well, at least the colleges.) Since that worked well, the colleges now start raising their tuitions to $Z, which is larger than $X+$Y. Fewer students can afford it, but that's OK, because the ones that can the colleges will force to pay the whole $Z, and the others will be subsidized by the "$Y" money that no longer hss to go to students who can afford it.
Should demand for their degrees fall, as students realize that $100K for a degree in Art History isn't going to be cost-justifiable, the government steps in again with more loans and grants, and the colleges again make more money.
STOP GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF POST-HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION. HAVE THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LOANS, SO IF THE DEGREES ARE ECONOMICALLY JUSTIFIABLE, LOW INCOME STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE THEIR DEGREES.
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