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I applaud Phil's ideas, and I sincerely doubt that any students would value their educations less because Chrysler paid for it instead of Mom. I certainly wouldn't have.
When I applied to universities seven years ago, I faced a situation directly impacted by the phenomenal costs of tuition at MIT. I was accepted to MIT for undergrad admissions, but because my "ability to pay" (the amount, after loans, that I'm expected to have out-of-pocket) was set at about $2000 a year, I wasn't able to go.
$2000 a year may seem like a steal to most undergrads (or their parents), but my mother was not interested in paying any of my tuition, for reasons I won't go into here. Suffice it to say that I had no choice, and no funds. I was also using the proceeds from my $5/hr after-school job to pay my portion of the rent, for similar reasons, so there was no way in hell that I would have been able to save up the $8-10K necessary by the time I left for MIT. ...