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Old 12-20-2019, 01:58 PM
dalej42 is offline
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Free public college and state residency: how would it work?


One thing that hasnít been mentioned with the free college debate is exactly how it would work in the real world.

Would students only get free public education in the state they lived in and could claim residency? Thereís always been problems with students claiming residency in other states to qualify for in state tuition. Thereís plenty of people in the northeast with relatives who live in Florida as well as people from the Midwest who have relatives in Arizona.

I know, if I could get free public school tuition and I was an 18 year old graduating high school this year, Iíd take a gap year and go to Virginia or California to establish residency if I could get free tuition. Iím sure the University of Illinois is a fine school, but massive Big 10 universities in small college towns in the Midwest arenít my thing.

Certain states have very good public colleges and others not so much. Even if itís possible to get a fine education at any school, would you rather be applying for your first job with a UCLA degree or one from New Mexico State?

I think the residency questions are more important than the silly bickering over how many students get covered that has become a holy war among the stans of the various Democratic candidates.
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:57 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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If it becomes a problem, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to just make the required residency period longer.

Free state college for anyone who has lived in the state for at least 4 years of the last ten would basically solve this completely. It's pretty unlikely that it would be worth moving to a state and living there four years just to take advantage of college tuition.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:02 PM
Velocity is online now
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I'm not too clear on the proposals being offered by some of the Democratic candidates, but if they are proposing free college on a national level, that presumably would make the debate irrelevant - you get free college regardless of which of the 50 states you are in or want to be in. But I would wonder whether the federal government can order states to make their schools free, that might clash with some Constitutional limit.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:23 PM
l0k1 is offline
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Georgia offers the Hope Scholarship, which is free to Georgia residents with some restrictions, chiefly you have to be a graduate of a Georgia high school with a 3.0 or above. I imagine other states would use a similar model.

They've even built in rules for kids that are home schooled or get a GED.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:04 PM
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Would it really be any different than going to a new high school in a new state if one's family moved before someone's senior year? We don't block such kids from getting educated, or make them wait before continuing their education.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:07 PM
Procrustus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
If it becomes a problem, I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to just make the required residency period longer.

Free state college for anyone who has lived in the state for at least 4 years of the last ten would basically solve this completely. It's pretty unlikely that it would be worth moving to a state and living there four years just to take advantage of college tuition.
Here's an article explaining how that could run afoul of the Constitution.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitu...y-requirements
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:25 PM
Ruken is offline
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They can also give selection preference to people who went to school in-state. You could move to CA or VA but that doesn't mean you'll get into the school.

Of all the logistical problems with these proposals, I do t see this as one of them.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:58 PM
dalej42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
Would it really be any different than going to a new high school in a new state if one's family moved before someone's senior year? We don't block such kids from getting educated, or make them wait before continuing their education.
Itís a bit different. No, no state would prohibit the kid from getting a high school education if they moved from
Mississippi to Boston right before their senior year of high school even the family hasnít paid local taxes in Boston.

But we do have a long standing tradition of charging vastly different tuition for people who can claim state residency versus out of state tuition for public colleges and universities.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:11 PM
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People will always find a way to get over. Sure, you could move to VA or CA to establish residency for a year, but most people aren't going to go through that trouble...especially if there are no guarantees you'll get accepted to UVA or UCLA.

Quote:
Certain states have very good public colleges and others not so much. Even if it’s possible to get a fine education at any school, would you rather be applying for your first job with a UCLA degree or one from New Mexico State?
I don't think this is a problem the free public college plan is intended to address. States with a disproportionate number of mediocre universities happen to be states with high poverty levels. That's a big "No Duh." And I believe we need to address that problem. But I don't think it would be right to block the free public college train because we have imperfections in the educational system.

There's no good reason to think that schools like UCLA or UVA would burn up their endowments under a free public college plan. They would still offer merit scholarships to draw in talent from other states. And of course so would private institutions. So if you're an impressive-enough student from New Mexico, you would have choices. Indeed, you would have even more choices than the system that we have now.

Last edited by monstro; 12-20-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 07:25 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Here's an article explaining how that could run afoul of the Constitution.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitu...y-requirements
Ah, that's interesting. I wasn't aware of that. But it looks like it's probably still ok here. From your own cite:

Quote:
More recently, the Court has attempted to clarify these cases by distinguishing situations where a state citizen is likely to ďconsumeĒ benefits within a stateís borders (such as the provision of welfare) from those where citizens of other states are likely to establish residency just long enough to acquire some portable benefit, and then return to their original domicile to enjoy them (such as obtaining a divorce decree or paying the in-state tuition rate for a college education).2100
So, it sounds like the current court is ok with residency requirements for college tuition breaks, although it's not totally settled. A college degree is a very portable benefit.

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 12-20-2019 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:55 PM
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Eventually all post-primary education will consist of RNA dosages, and downloads to our brains via neural implants. Uni and college will be a drugstore. Will you get a name-brand dose of schooling or some cheap generic knock-off?
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