Welcome to Germany in 2033, Me

OH MY GOD 2033. What. How can that even be a year that exists. I just died a little bit.

Anyway, provided that it actually exists, 2033 will be the year that (hopefully) SchuBabby goes off to college. Public universities will have been abolished by then, and tuition at the Tostitos TacoBell Bud Lite Lime-A-Rita Water Park, Unpaid Pro Football Team and Content-Module Based Learning Outcomes Factory will be $900,000 per year. But, don’t worry, we have a plan. We were iffy on asking our daughter to learn German, but now it’s non-negotiable, because that little fucker is going to college in Germany for free. We actually did the math today, and if SchuBabby were SchuFrosh today, it would actually be cheaper for us to move to Germany on my work-at-home salary alone, have the kid live with us (German-style) and send her to a German university for 4 years than it would be for us to send her to either of the American universities we attended, much less the public flagships that are allegedly in our “price range.”

Anyway, here’s my latest for Slate‘s BrowBeat on why shipping your kid off to Deutschland may (OR MAY NOT) be the last great “American” college bargain.

A taste:

First of all, the concept of “campus life” differs widely between our two countries. German universities consist almost entirely of classroom buildings and libraries—no palatial gyms with rock walls and water parks; no team sports facilities (unless you count the fencing fraternities I will never understand); no billion-dollar student unions with flat-screen TVs and first-run movie theaters. And forget the resort-style dormitories. What few dorms exist are minimalistic, to put it kindly—but that’s largely irrelevant anyway, as many German students still live at home with their parents, or in independent apartment shares, none of which foster the kind of insular, summer-camp-esque experience Americans associate closely with college life (and its hefty price tag). It’s quite common for German students simply to commute in for class, then leave.

And yes, anyone who feels like they can/should explain fencing fraternities to me, do it. I’ve been scratching my Kopf about those things for damn near 20 years at this point.

One thought on “Welcome to Germany in 2033, Me

  1. Just a heads up: I linked to your Slate blog on my article about this topic on jamesrovira.com. I’ve also just read your post about IA and MI adding profs. I think whether or not defunding is the real problem has to be determined on a state by state basis. IA, from what you say, cut 15% from the budget and then increased it 6%, and is making up for some of the difference by trimming admin. Good for them. From what I heard from people in the UC system, though, the State of CA provided 88% of the budget in 2006 or so and is only providing 14% now. I would say that defunding is the main problem there.


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