"You are suggesting the govt help offset the cost. I'm saying lower the cost. Lower the cost by eliminating all the extra courses that are not applicable to the degree and just focus on the requirements. This would easily reduce the cost by 1 yr or 25%. This saves the student and taxpayer. The college loses the revenue, but they can offset by admitting more students since it doesn't take as long."
Or maybe a combination?
I got my education for free, though this is no longer the case in this country. But it was a three year degree, initially (to batchelor degree). The only courses I HAD to take were ones relevant to my degree. The life education came from other sources, and I don't see this as a university's role. I also took lots of other courses in the US, as part of my AA at a community college (again free, at least at the time). I don't feel those AA courses made me in any way a better person! In fact, I fond them pretty pathetic, but maybe that depends on the college in the US (you get what you pay for???).
Funny thing was, when I moved to NZ, the NZ university wouldn't recognise any of my US courses, even the non-fluffy ones. Said they didn't know what the courses covered, so couldn't cross-credit them.
Anyway, even now our government subsidises tertiary education, and we are not exactly a wealthy country. We also have a multi-partisan government, even though we are a very small country. At least that way I can vote for who I think will do the best job, without the vote 'counting for nothing'. Seems to me a contry the size of America has plenty of room for other parties to have a say. I find it pretty sad that between Obama and Romney the polls show they have 95% of the vote!