This WSJ piece from 2014 is paywalled, but the part you can see for free basically tells the whole story. Some students are getting student loans to pay full price and are having their borrowed money handed to other students in a non-transparent way via subsidies for more favored classes of people. The part of the article that is unreadable includes the observation that college administrators worry that if that was well-known, paying/borrowing students might object.
This is a YUGE part of the problem, not only with college, but society as a whole. Price opacity enabled by third party payers, or debt schemes.
Take away third party payers, and the scheme INSTANTLY collapses, since price feedback is restored and ability to pay is paramount (basic demand). Take away loans and the system INSTANTLY collapses because the reckoning cannot be deferred, nor sidestepped on price.
Once again, this concept fractures along racial lines. Society determined that if college is good for one, then it is good for everyone. Not everyone can cut it, so either dumb it down, or set a double standard.
We have determined that more preferred ethnic minorities need to be in college, but they can't pay for it. We cost shift (like we do in medicine) from one customer to another, and then use another institution to pay the cost in someone else's name. The beneficiary of this doesnt care, so they stay silent. The sucker doesnt know, so he doesnt care. The government makes it happen, but saddles the sucker for the rest of his life, then wants to transfer it to a larger group of suckers.
School administrators rake it in. Why not? It's free money - all in the name of equity, and they get their cut. That's one reason they LOVE diversity. Diversity means they get paid on the skim.
To add to Karl's points - price transparency in education, much like is advocated in medicine. STOP THE COST SHIFTING. If Shaniqua is paying $5K per semester, but Katelyn is paying $35K per semester, Katelyn needs to know that much of the money she is borrowing is being done on behalf of Shaniqua. If the university takes the position that Shaniqua's "scholarship" is none of Katelyn's business, and tells Katelyn that is the cost of her education, then I think there is a fraud angle on this. What is the functional difference between this and the "insured" medical rate and the "uninsured" medical rate, give that the same organization is collecting both rates for the same service?
Diversity doesnt work. Never has. Never will. Biological driven outcomes are too disparate to hide any longer. Cost transference in the name of social cohesion has run its course.
Prior to the COVID stupidity, assigning the ENTIRE cost of the DOD to White Americans, and dividing other government proportional to use, which includes medicare and SSI, Whites are still net-positive in lifetime taxes versus government consumption. Blacks are about negative 150-200K for each one (welfare, subsidies, law enforcement, prisons, and medical,). Hispanics less so, but still negative. Asians are also net positive, but I bet that breaks out differently within sub groups like Japanese vs Filipino.
The entire society is nothing more than cost shifting and price opacity. The university system is just a good case study in microcosm.