Learning Curve

We’ll take higher taxes over college tuition

Marketplace Contributor Apr 2, 2015

We’ve been taking a look at the German education system for the last two days on Marketplace. In Germany, students can attend college tuition-free, even if they aren’t German citizens. German taxpayers pick up the tab.

The stories, from WGBH Radio’s “On Campus” team, detail how a growing number of students are getting degrees in other countries where taxpayers pick up the tab.

In response to our poll  “Would you pay higher taxes to make higher education free?,” about 73 percent of the more than 3,000 responses said, “Yes.”

Here are some of their comments:

Sheila said she spent a year teaching in Slovenia, “where higher education was free… Students took too long to graduate because they had little incentive to finish.”

Several commenters warned about tinkering with market forces, and others supported subsidizing education only for students who pursue degrees in high-demand fields.

Michele said her son went to Germany for school, got married and works there.

Bill highlighted differences between German and American education, and Roger said he can’t imagine the United States implementing a German education system.

More than 150 responses came from users in Germany. Twelve percent of those were not in favor of their taxes footing the bill for free college.

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