Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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by Free Market Duck

Cheap Community College "need" is a hoax...BSU rated cheapest university in the nation by US News & World Report
(Jun 14, 2007)

Boise, ID Sob, sob, oh Margie lend me a size 54 hanky, we need a new Community College system in Boise's Treasure Valley because Boise State University costs waaaay too much, cry the supporters of last month's blank check to build yet another level of public education bureaucracy in Idaho.

   But wait.  Run down to your local magazine rack and pick up a copy of US News & World Report featuring America's Best Colleges 2007 and, ding dong, you will discover that BSU's annual tuition is only $4,000, the cheapest college tuition in the a landslide.  Going down the list, USC's tuition is $34,000, Stanford is $33,000, Notre Dame is $32,000, UC Berkeley is $26,000 and so on through all the best public and private colleges in the nation.

   Idaho's not building a Boise Community College system because Stanford costs too much; they're building it because in-state BSU supposedly -- I'm giving you supposedly -- costs too much.  At least that's what the YES supporters' voting ads said.

   $4,000 for tuition at BSU in year 2007?  That's cheaper than the $5,000 I paid at Berkeley over 30 years ago, 6.5 times cheaper than Berkeley's tuition today.  And Boise needs a new Community College system because BSU is too expensive?  Pardon me but that's just a crock of bulls***!

   Oh, I got it.  Room and board.  Room and board costs a lot more in Boise than in California or Massachusetts or Washington, right?  Buzz, wrong.  BSU room and board costs about $6,000 per year, Berkeley costs $13,000 and USC and Stanford cost $10,000.  Nope, it's not room and board that's the big cost culprit.

   The 4-year total cost for a U.S. college education ranges from $173,000 at Stanford to $158,000 at Berkeley to $113,000 at the U of WA.  Total cost for BSU?  A whimpy $40,000 for 4 years, 4.3 times cheaper than schools such as Stanford.

   Hey, don't even ask me about the cost to attend Harvard, although the per student cost per year for Harvard is cheaper than some of Idaho's per student costs per year in the boonie school districts because 15 kids in Nowhere's Ville have to have a trillion dollar school bus that nobody rides, a billion dollar gymnasium for two kids to shoot hoops in the winter when they're not busy trapping beaver and hunting Elk, and more landscaping than the San Diego Zoo.

   So the myth that Boise needs a 2-year Community College system because 4-year BSU costs too much is simply balderdash.  And the myth that local employers need to hire local college graduates was dispelled this year as Micron, Idaho's largest private employer, headquartered in Boise, just froze all U.S. hiring after opening its new computer chip fab plant in China and announced a $4 billion merger with Intel to build another fab plant in Singapore.  Poof, there goes the local hiring myth down the global economic drain.

   Idahoans in Ada and Canyon Counties:  surprise, you've been punked again with the Mysterious Myths put forth for a new Community College system.  But the real estate brokers, building developers, politicians, and five power-happy new CC Board members are peeing in their pants with glee over your next increase in property taxes. -- FM Duck 

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