I have discussed this exact topic at some length multiple times in the past on DTT, without going back into my content history is, the cliff-notes are:
-Pell Grants & State Grants cover full cost of Community College
-Some Community College programs are free due to private charity grants from organizations, such as the National Science Foundation
-Companies like McDonald's pay employees $2500 for College if they work 15 or more hours per week, which covers full cost of CC + left-over cash
-Federal loans are granted in the amount of $6000 per semester, no co-signer required
-Hence, everyone has the opportunity to go to College for free, and not even have to work or only 15 hours a week to do so and support a comfortable living standard
The feds created grants to ensure that "everyone" could get into college and 1st protected then assumed the loans that covered the costs. This "free money" is an incentive for schools to raise their prices to meet the available monies. This also caused an increase in student population causing the schools to increase infrastructure. In increasing infrastructure they also need to create a more enticing environment for perspective students. This creates a wider range of "classes" Fast forward just a few decades we now have majors in gender studys, personal trainers and a number of other silly things. The job market is now flooded w/ degrees, watering them down and making a BA basically worthless. Its a ridiculous cycle aimed at extracting wealth from the youth before they even have a chance to even enter into the job market. It is indentured servitude IMO.
Everything you said there is correct, as is my statement that people can still attend for free.
In essence, this is an entirely fabricated issue. It is already affordable, even though the price tag has inflated tremendously for the reasons you described, and if that program (Grants) were taken away it would still be affordable since the prices would naturally lower and companies (such as McDonalds, for instance) would still offer tuition assistance to employees.
We already have it. Of course, you and the community have been paying into that social program through tax dollars.
Even aside from that, quite a few private companies provide tuition assistance to employees. If you work 15 hours a week at McDonalds, for instance, then they will pay for you to attend Community College in full--classes, books, paper, pencils, calculator, backpack, everything.
All this does is tranfer the debt but with the subjective caveat of "if they get a job with a good salary."
The universities are being asked to subsidize an "education," which the universities will need to be subsidized with taxpayer money to cover the loss. I addressed degrees that can never pay back the cost of a $100k education, thus leaving taxpayers on the hook for eternity for subsidizing the universities. There is no free education, especially until the accreditation system is pulled out by the roots and other changes I mentioned.