Free College Plan Could Destroy Catholic Colleges

During her speech at the Democratic Convention, Hillary Clinton, in an attempt to woo Bernie Sanders voters, promised to work to have the government provide free college tuition. "Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all," she said.

If this occurs, it could very well mean the end of many Catholic colleges. And please remember, for many on the left that would be considered a feature, not a bug.

Under Clinton's proposal, the government would pay tuition for students of families earning less than $125,000 per year for in-state colleges and universities. This would obviously put private colleges and universities at a massive competitive disadvantage.

Politico reports that some types of private colleges "including women’s colleges, religiously affiliated institutions, and historically black colleges and universities" which rely on tuition could see a "steep drop in enrollment" if Congress were to enact Clinton's plan.

We would have free colleges and universities competing with private colleges. We've seen how this works before. When so many nuns left their teaching positions at Catholic schools (an event the calamitous effects of which can not be overstated in our country's history) the schools were forced to raise tuition and subsequently lost a large portion of their students because they were competing with public schools which don't charge tuition.

And even if the government were to allow money to go towards private religious schools, how long would it be until the strings attached to that money become too onerous for many Catholic schools? Truly, how long would the federal government continue to allow public money to go to institutions that hire for mission or refuse to provide gender neutral bathroom and residences?

In short, this would likely be a disaster for Catholic colleges. So we should all expect outrage, protests, and dire predictions from faculty in 3...2...1...or not.

In the end, this would bring about less choice for families seeking to educate their children. And it would likely mean fewer options for Catholic families seeking to educate their children in the faith. But maybe that's the intent as well.