Do poor people have the right to free services just because they are poor?

I ask that question after reading Debt-Free Colleges: Schools That Won’t Saddle You With Loans by Forbes contributer John Wasik.

Wasik notes that grants are based on needs. Family income limits range from $40,000 to 60,000, but grants also depend on number of wage earners in the household, single parents, whether a child is a dependent and a whole range of other financial factors.

Divorce, medical expenses, job loss, etc. also make a huge difference in whether you’re considered for the non-loan offer.

Finally, you need to be an above-average student just to get in the door.

Reverse Discrimination

Reader Marty emailed this comment on the practice: “Poor people should not be entitled to attend elite colleges for nothing. Someone has to pay. This practice is more redistribution ‘justice’, especially applicable to low-income persons admitted using discrimination or reverse discrimination criteria.

Wage Discrimination

Charging people what they can afford to pay constitutes wage discrimination.

If the same practice applied to restaurants, the poor would eat Filet Mignon at fancy restaurants for free, while the middle class would pay $200 and the wealthy $2,000 for the same meal.

The Real Solution

The real solution, as I have pointed out many times, is free online education from places like the Khan Academy and Coursera.

Inexpensive online education is the future. Student debt and socialist handouts are the past.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock