Virginia Foxx Demonstrates the Limited Value of a UNC Education
Virginia Foxx is one of those people we tend to ignore, because Virginia Foxx tends to say stupid things so frequently that we would need to create a spinoff blog to deal with her, along with spinoff blogs for Louie Gohmert, Allen West, and half the House Republican Caucus.
But every so often, Virginia Foxx catches our attention despite ourselves, usually because we can’t find an Existential Cat Video to distract us. And so it was that while speaking on Friday to G. Gordon Liddy — Remember, kids, don’t buy books from crooks! — Virginia Foxx dropped this well-polished turd:
I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money… I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that.
Virginia Foxx, in case you were wondering, is 68. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1968. If you’re a North Carolina resident, as she was, UNC will charge you $7,008 this fall for annual tuition and fees. If you’re from out of state, it’s a cool $26,834.
Of course, the price of attending college is a lot more than what you feed the bursar. If you plan on enjoying extracurricular activities like eating and sleeping, UNC recommends that resident students like Virginia Foxx budget $20,660 a year for the full college experience. And if you’re not a native Tar Heel, set aside $41,140.
Say, did UNC teach math in 1968? Because if you multiply those amounts over four years — never mind expected tuition increases — you get $82,640 for residents and $164,560 for nonresidents. Which is amazingly similar to the $80,000 and $200,000 of student debt that Virginia Foxx has no tolerance for!
“There’s no reason for that,” says Virginia Foxx. And we agree! But you’ll have to take that up with the North Carolina legislature, which sets tuition. Perhaps Virginia Foxx knows somebody there, since she served in the state senate from 1994 to 2004 — and we’ll bet she never voted to raise tuition during her time there.
But surely, like Virginia Foxx, an enterprising student could work her way through UNC today. And at North Carolina’s $7.25 minimum wage, you could earn $15,080 a year!
Presuming you work forty hours a week, of course. With no vacations. And not counting taxes.
More likely, you’d be working twenty hours a week. And if you did that for fifty-two weeks straight, you’d pocket — again, before taxes — $6406.40. Which is less than half the full-time amount, because North Carolina has a special college-student minimum wage of $6.16, which only puts you in the hole $14,253.60 for each year of attending UNC.
So how did Virginia Foxx do it?
We’ll tell you how we did it. We attended the University of Oregon — which, like UNC, is a member of the Association of American Universities, which only fellow AAU members give a shit about — from 1977 to 1981. Resident tuition was $675 a year.
This year it’s $8,789.
And while we can’t find UNC tuition for 1968, we’ll take a wild guess that it’s also increased more than ten times since Virginia Foxx graduated.
On the other hand, if our 1977 annual UO tuition increased with inflation, it would cost $2,555 today. You can afford $2,555 a year without mortgaging your life, can’t you? Of course you can. We certainly could. And so could Virginia Foxx.
These numbers aren’t difficult to calculate. And anyone with a familiarity of how states have been increasingly shortchanging their public universities for decades — like us, like Virginia Foxx — knows damn well why student loans have skyrocketed to make up the difference.
That Virginia Foxx apparently doesn’t understand these things can have only one explanation: UNC gave her a shitty education.
You Tar Heels should be ashamed of yourselves.