What we all know……. is that college has gotten extremely expensive over the last 3 decades! This has been a serious issue for a long time and leaders at the state and federal level have not been able to come up with real solutions for the middle class and the struggling poor.
We as a nation need to do a much better job with college costs, transparency and ensuring there is a solution to the escalating expense that puts this important part for many of developing effective skills out of the reach of so many. Additionally, the cost creates a persistent issue with significant student loans for decades. This is unacceptable.
Our platform is simple: Maryland needs to lead the charge to develop programs that ensure developing the most advanced skills possible is well within the reach of every single person in the state.
This program will benefit many throughout Maryland, especially those families with single parents unable to consider college due to the cost of childcare and housing. We will make that investment in the future of our citizens ensuring they are well positioned to make Maryland the most competitive state in the country.
The tuition growth chart below helps to frame the extraordinary scope of the problem. The wealthy know these realities well, but they can incur the costs. The middle class and struggling poor are often with few options to solve this issue.
This really tells a very important part of the American story. In a nutshell few things impact the generational growth of individuals and family income growth greater than an education. When the growth of the cost of college increases on the levels that have been seen over the last 30 years, this impacts who can go to college and how those costs can and cannot be absorbed by the individual or that family. This is a very critical issue. For many from poor families, this is the way out of poverty. For the middle class, this can be the way to improve their ability to compete for jobs and grow.
Which brings us to a critical cost: college. When compared to inflation-adjusted incomes (almost flat) college costs have become astoundingly expensive. 400% what they were 30 years ago.
Our solution addresses these critical areas:
- Free college for the STEM disciplines. We are looking at expanding to all majors, but this will be the starting point. This would include housing and meals. We need to put the most disadvantaged in a position that college is achievable for all those that want it. We need to start looking at college as an investment in the long-term success of our citizens, their families, our communities and our state. These college programs would partner with industry to ensure we are training to the long-term required staffing goals and ensure that the ability to pay for these programs is funded by the exceedingly flush corporate superstructures.
- Innovation HUB. Establish expansive private/public coalitions between industry, finance and market leaders to create a series of programs to develop ideas into thriving innovative Maryland based companies. Create a dynamic environment that entrepreneurs can engage with teams of talented and innovative business leaders. This investment in the ideas and the early stages of development ensure that as these companies develop the jobs also grow. This is a program marketed throughout the country to attract the best and brightest to Maryland and grow the talent that is already here.
- Maryland has a large retired military population. The incubator will also be marketed to this critically valuable talent pool. They possess extensive skills and experiences invaluable in the creation and management of innovative businesses.
- Veteran Services. Maryland also has a very large veteran community. We propose the creation of Veteran Exchanges and Commissaries. This would provide an important community of those that have served an opportunity to get access to very reasonable goods. We would expand the homeless outreach program for full accountability of every single homeless veteran.