Pay it Forward – A New Idea for Funding College

Bill Lyne, who represents teachers for United Faculty of Washington, says they would welcome the idea.

“I think it’s really good that someone is thinking big. A lot of the discussion that we’re getting right now is how to improve things around the margins – we were all very excited last year when there were just no further cuts to higher ed.”

Rich Nafziger, an economics professor at Seattle University, has studied the proposal. He notes there are a lot of details to be worked out, but thinks it would be an improvement over a system that is shutting some people out and has major companies recruiting from overseas to fill their jobs.

“This has to stop. And the only way to do that is to find a mechanism for more students to afford to go to college, because all of the research shows that the biggest barrier to college enrollment and completion is money.”

He says similar plans have worked on a smaller scale in Australia and the United Kingdom. EOI says it has proposed the idea in order to spark more discussion about how it could work in Washington.

A report about the plan is available at www.stateofworkingwa.org.