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Now, my University has no tuition, but I do pay semester fees of about 180 euro that supports the library, etc. as well as a regional ticket for public transportation. That's a good deal.
Free tuition also has a negative side. I don't know if this is a real problem, it doesn't matter if it is real or not, but there is a perception and prejudice against the "eternal student". That is, someone perceived to spend eternity in school not accomplishing anything on the governments dime (or euro). Now that extends into student discounts and other goodies that you have to be a student AND under 26 to qualify for - as if just because I am older that I have more resources than any other student. There is also this stigma when it comes to employment when you do finally matriculate.
For someone like me who has a career change due to disability (from military to academia) or for someone like my ex who just finally decides what they want to do later in life, it makes it hard on the job market because of this "eternal student" stigma.
It is almost, to me at least, as if there is some class stratification left over from aristocratic times. Mobility is not impossible, but much much more difficult than the US where it is very common to see people in their 30s go back to school and change careers.
At least, those are my observations and pitfalls to consider if there is any significant change in the US educational system (which needs it).
"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte!
Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
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