Correspondence On Student Loans and Public Higher Education

Here is an email I wrote to a constituent–organizer and shared with my Democratic primary opponent for Florida’s 6th Congressional district, Clint Curtis, Attorney-at-Law:

All 3 of us used to be computer programmers! I was never too good at it but I actually invented the phrase “tweet this” and used to have a rather popular (despite poorly coded) Twitter plugin for WordPress websites in 2008–2011. Twitter itself subsequently incorporated all of the features and advantages my plugin offered.

I haven’t supported blanket forgiveness of outstanding student loans, but removal of interest charges on federal loans and interest going forward, not reporting derogatory credit information, and stopping new loans from going toward higher education that is a poor value. I would expect this would apply only to federal loans for educational expenses at private institutions and require some picking and choosing… HBCUs would still get covered (Bethune–Cookman, FL A&M, etc.) and some programs at ERAU that are specialized, but not going to ERAU for their business programs (what a waste of money!). Florida has quite low tuitions at state colleges and universities for residents thanks to state funding. The gap of getting us to free college tuition nationwide will be bigger for some states and institutions than others, and I think UCF sets an excellent example as Bill Gates recently noted regarding our ability to build the tent wider and take in so many students (presently 70,000) without sacrificing quality. I don’t know if you have listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast episodes against the LSAT (he argues it favors quickness for no reason) and law school elitism, but I recommend them:

Puzzle Rush: interactive transcript | blog
Malcolm challenges his assistant Camille to the Law School Admissions Test. He gets halfway through, panics, runs out of time, and wonders: why does the legal world want him to rush?”

The Tortoise and the Hare: interactive transcript blog
A weird speech by Antonin Scalia, a visit with some serious legal tortoises, and a testy exchange with the experts at the Law School Admissions Council prompts Malcolm to formulate his Grand Unified Theory for fixing higher education.

Doing higher education from home or commuting from parents’ homes is helpful because living expenses are a big part of it. Of course, we should also focus on the fact that not everyone needs or wants a 2- or 4-year degree (let alone graduate school). Certificates and trade schools, now more commonly called technical colleges (“college” is a word held in high esteem), are also very important, and are offered at many state colleges such as Daytona State College as well.

Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress (FL-06)
Adjunct Faculty, University of Central Florida

New Thripp business card, 1/29/2020

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