Proposal on College Tuition Costs

PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

My Newsletter: Issues with increasing college tuition for low-income families 2. Persona and POV statement Persona: Document found here Persona name: Jim Henderson Age: 60 Years Old School/occupation: CEO of Henderson Company Location: New York, New York   Quote: We will ensure the success of every client that walks through our door   About:
  • Runs a very large, prestigious financial advisory firm in New York
  • Hires students out of college from the best universities
  • Volunteers at a soup kitchen in his spare time

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  • Wants to hire more students from low-income backgrounds to get a more diverse set of opinions in the office
  • Only sees students from wealthy backgrounds at best universities, wants to change that
  • Wishes to grow his business by at least 50% in the next five years


POV Statement:
  • User: Jim, the CEO of a large financial advisory firm….
  • Need: wants to hire students from low-income backgrounds at the top universities….
  • Insight: but can’t find any because many of these students can’t afford these schools due to rising tuition costs.




3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Take away all merit-based scholarships from schools and change them to need-based scholarships. If a student can afford to go to a university, he or she will not need a merit-based scholarship to go, so this money should be saved for people who actually need it.

SOLUTION 2: Create a program where companies can get tax breaks to be a "sponsor" and pay for tuition for teens who need the money. This way more teens from low-income families will be able to attend the top schools, and companies will be able to hire people from more diverse backgrounds at the top schools.

SOLUTION 3:  High schools accross the country improve their AP programs so more kids can enter college with a lot of credits, making the cost of tuition lower (They will have to pay for less classes).



Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:



Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: According to an employee at Our Revolution, an organization with goals of empowering millions to fight for progressive change, the US Government will make a profit of about $110 Billion on student loans over the next decade. This is very troublesome, as the government should be supporting college students and their continuing education. A way to end this would be to stop the US Government from profiting off these loans. 

CONSULTATION 2: A U.S. PIRG employee suggested to eliminate smaller costs that drive up the overall price of higher education. For example, 45% of textbooks are sold with an expiring access code and can not be resold. Things like these add up to make college much more expensive than it needs to be and many low-income families would benefit from these costs being eliminated. 

CONSULTATION 3: After speaking with University of Michigan student Ellie Clark, I got to see how the rising costs of college affect students in my community. Ellie is an out of state student who has the goal of going to law school. She will be in so much debt after getting her undergraduate degree, and is worried this will hinder her ability to attend law school. Lowering tuition costs would help her in so many ways, and if she is prevented from pursuing what she wants because of debt, it would be an extreme disappointment. 


Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.


Research process: 

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.


Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?


The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS.... Some colleges have increased their cost of tuition by as much as 3% more than the rate of inflation

WHEREAS.... There are more than 44 million borrowers in the United States who owe over $1.5 trillion in debt from student loans

WHEREAS.... The average student in the class of 2016 had $37,172 in student loan debt

WHEREAS... The state of Michigan ranks number nine among all states with the most U.S. student loan borrowers 

WHEREAS... Many students from low-income families can no longer afford to attend top universities, and in some instances students do not apply to these schools because they know they can not afford to attend them

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).


1. Eliminate interest on US Government issued student loans, so the government does not profit off college students and students are not restrained by exteremely expensive loans. 

2. In addition to this, eliminate half of all merit-based scholarships and give this money to students who demonstrate need

3. These will combine to allow students to attend the top universities, whereas in the past they wouldn't have even dreamed of attending. 

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. How will some schools attract the best students if they can not award as much money based on merit?

2. What will the government do about all of this lost revenue from interest on student loans?

3. Even if this allows some students from low-income backgrounds to attend the top universities, will it really cause a significant difference in the amount of students from low-income families at these schools?

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

The main cost of this program will be the lost revenue that the US Government gains from interest on student loans. Another cost will be the opportunity cost of colleges not getting the top students because they issue the money to students who are in need instead. I think the best way to fund this program would be increasing the tax on the top 5% of america by a percentage that would cover most of the cost to the US Government. The government could also find ways to eliminate costs through inefficiencies. 


These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

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Total votes: 1