The University of Missouri is in trouble from declining enrollment. The recent SJW kerfuffle is blamed, but people have pointed out potential students may be avoiding college because of the cost.
OSU had an SJW kerfuffle, but put the kibosh on it by threatening to expel protestors occupying the admin building. Speculation is the administration didn’t want the same thing that happened at Mizzou (it’s lame to use the SEC slang name but Mizzou is a lame SEC school).
The reason given was the people working in the building did not feel safe. The protestors apparently crossed an invisible line, where other students and police officers can be bothered but not the people running the place.
The bulk of the potential student population doesn’t want to deal with crazy white nerds and angry negroes, and while they can’t say that they can go elsewhere. The value of a liberal arts degree from a state college hasn’t been much since around 1970 and has gone down a lot so not going is a real option. The typical student is better off going to a community college, staying at home and transferring if they are doing well.
Mandatory education is supposed to provide something useful, and realistically most people don’t need to go beyond 8th grade. “Liberal” college education does not, and has probably for most people for most of history been about acquiring the correct attitudes.
But if people don’t go, they won’t acquire the correct attitudes. They won’t go if it doesn’t have a positive cost/benefit analysis. In a no-jobs environment, paying a lot cannot be justified, so to keep people coming you need free college.
Bernie represents the good-think portion of the Democratic alliance, and a lot of these people work in education. Education used to be a growth industry, and provided lots of jobs for bright people without social polish- like Bernie himself. Free college keeps the students coming and keeps the teaching and administration jobs alive.
I think the universities know they need to keep a lid on the SJW crazies, but also need to make it viable for people to come.