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admin | Category: What Causes Ed 2016 | 26.01.2014
A column criticizing Pay It Forward in the Chronicle of Higher Education misses the mark – by a wide margin. For example, in November 2014, Oregon voters will consider a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the Treasurer to issue bonds to create an “Opportunity Fund” for higher education. First, he doesn’t account for existing adverse selection under the current loan-based system.
For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of someone who would seem very unlikely to use Pay It Forward: say, an ambitious lawyer- (or engineer- or entrepreneur-) to-be whose parents are well-off enough to have $50,000 in cash for you to use for college.
Kelderman says students who expect to earn more will attend private colleges and thus avoid Pay It Forward. Those who don’t need or want the insurance that Pay It Forward provides – probably students from families with over $100,000 in income – are likely to find their way into private colleges, which is already the case.
At the University of Washington for example, the total cost of education per student was $16,310 in 1990-91, and $17,103 in 2011-12.
Pay It Forward can actually create public policy mechanisms and help build political will to improve higher education funding and rein in tuition increases.
The high demand for Pay It Forward could also increase political inclinations to maintain or even reduce tuition – because doing so reduces the necessary size of the PIF trust fund, and makes it possible for that fund to reach self-sufficiency more quickly. Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
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At the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Denver this week — attended by more than 15,000 K-12 teachers, school officials, vendors, and reporters — the biggest news was Amazon’s release of Inspire. Subscribe now for instant access to this article and thousands of others, data tables, and interactive charts — all available exclusively for Chronicle subscribers. When talented fashion designer Rina Shah saw 10 men riding on horses playing polo for the first time, she wasna€™t swept off her feet by one of those a€?knights in shining armour,a€? but instead, she wanted to be one of the a€?knights,a€? herself. That does make for dramatic reading, but Kelderman neglects to mention (1) that figure represents the cost of incorporating all 85,000+ students in Pay It Forward at one time, and (2) Oregon’s legislation mandates no such scope.
If passed, a portion of the proceeds of this bond issue could be dedicated to start-up costs for the pilot PIF program. It’s appealing in its simplicity, but hardly the problem Kelderman makes it out to be, for two reasons.

For the vast majority of students coming from those households, PIF is going to look like a much better deal than going into debt.
But even for those students and their families, public universities are going to have a very different value proposition with (effectively) no upfront tuition costs. However, his figures cover just one year, from 2011 to 2012 – and that does not a trend make.
But he fails to connect the dots: cuts to state higher education funding are exactly what are driving the tuition increases that lead to high student debt. But it’s also true of every public policy, unless the political will exists to keep it in place. Students, families and policymakers – who have long understood that debt financing works well for big banks, but not for working families – now have a viable policy alternative to put on the table. For example, federal start-up funds could be made available only to states that maintain a minimum level of public funding for higher education. And as the number of people participating in and benefiting from Pay It Forward grows over time, so will political resistance to attempts to undermine it or higher education in general. There are important details to be worked out and improvements to be made, which is normal for any public policy proposal. In exchange, the student agrees to contribute a small, fixed percentage of their post-education income for a fixed period of time. Rather, participants are guaranteed a manageable contribution, regardless of income (or income fluctuations).
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Shoe designer Rina Shah had all odds stacked against her as polo was a sport dominated by men, many of whom had dedicated their lives to it. It also makes it harder for students who want to teach, be a nurse, or social worker (to pick just three of many professions that pay high social dividends, but not high salaries) to afford a degree. Doesn’t that make Pay It Forward far more attractive than debt financing — and not just for upper middle class, but also middle class, working class, and low-income students? Nor do national numbers tell the complete story about what’s happening in each state, where clearly it’s possible (even if politically difficult) for state policymakers and public higher education administrators to take steps to control costs.
That’s why, at last count, stakeholders in 14 different states are exploring Pay It Forward, from writing legislation to studying how the model might work for them. Their contributions, together with other Pay It Forward participants, are pooled in a trust fund that (once fully funded) enables future students to also attend college without paying upfront tuition fees. It directs the state’s Higher Education Coordination Commission to develop a Pay It Forward pilot project for consideration by the 2015 Legislature, and to develop a plan for a four-year tuition freeze.

But that didna€™t stop Rina from challenging the norm and going after her dream with immense passion.Her unexpected journey into the polo field was, a€?Around four years ago, I went to watch a game of polo and got such a rush while watching it that I decided, why not give it a shot? Pay It Forward has the potential to generate a tremendous amount of educational opportunity and social equity that is lost with today’s debt-financed degrees. Hopefully, future discussions of Pay It Forward can be used as opportunities to create workable policy designs that help resolve our nation’s student debt problem, instead of prolonging it. A point comes in everybodya€™s life, when they feel that they have achieved everything they set out for and they need a new passion that drives them. Those who attend but don’t graduate would contribute a pro-rated percentage of their incomes. For me, it turned out to be polo,a€? she explains.While Rina had always been into sports, she feels that polo was the sport for her as it was more in sync with her profession and personality.
And when I took up horse riding, I, myself, got inspired to start my own line called Rinaldi Polo. So on some level, I think that it was already in me and when I started to go ahead with it, it all fell into place.a€?While she started playing barely two years ago, she is one the few woman polo players in the country.
In her short career, she has already won two beginner polo tournaments and now has formed her own Rinaldi Polo Team that features some of Indiaa€™s leading male players like Arjuna Award-winner Samir Suhag, Gaurav Sehgal, Chirag Parekh and Karan Ahmed, and she, of course, is the only female player in the team.While any sport demands a lot from the players, ita€™s especially tough when you play with, and against the team. And with polo being a sport dominated by army personnel and Rajputs, how hard was it for a fashion designer to learn it at such a late stage in her life? There were times when I asked myself, a€?what am I doing?a€™ But despite a lot of falling, hurting my back and many fractures, I did not give up. I became tough and just wanted some more,a€? shares Rina.While the first few years of training involved just riding the horse, it was only two years ago that she started playing polo. After training in Argentina and UK, Rina played in two amateur tournaments in Jodhpur and won both of them, which gave her the confidence to build her team.She adds, a€?I believe that if you have to do something, do your very best.
I was confident enough to play with the best players in the game and decided to put up the best team for it.a€?So how does she balance being a shoe designer and a polo player? I really dona€™t have a life as I wake up at 5.30 am and go riding (she has two horses), after which I go directly to work.
This is where my equestrian line really helps as I am usually with horses and other polo players during the major part of my day.
So, in a way, polo automatically helps my business and vice-versa.a€?Rina feels that her journey is a testament to the fact that women can achieve so much in a male-dominated sport and there is no age barrier to fulfill dreams.

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