An expensive private college formerly run by the wife of socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders finally ran out of other people’s money. Burlington College announced it would shutter due to the “crushing weight of the debt” Jane Sanders racked up during her tenure as college president.
In 2010, under Jane Sanders’s leadership, the school took out $10 million in debt to purchase a 33-acre parcel of land from the Archdiocese of Burlington. In the months leading up to the deal, Jane Sanders told the bank the school had raised $2 million in fundraising commitments, when in reality the school had raised less than $300,000.
The Catholic parishioners who sold the land have since called for an investigation into Jane Sanders’s actions, alleging that she committed bank fraud. Amid controversy, Jane Sanders stepped down from her position as president of Burlington College in 2011.
In 2014, its accrediting agency placed the college, which was still flailing from the financial ramifications of the land deal, on academic probation. These financial troubles have forced the school to announce it will close on May 27 in anticipation that its accreditor would decide against re-accrediting the school due to its financial woes.
Burlington College was very expensive, yet only a third of its students earned more than the average high school graduate, according to Politico.
The average Burlington student pays $25,569 per year in tuition after scholarships and student aid, according to the federal Education Department. That’s significantly higher than the average for other students at private, nonprofit colleges of $15,000, calculated by the College Board for the 2015 academic year.
Unlike his wife’s preferences for private institutions that charge a pretty penny for tuition, Bernie Sanders has been touting free college for all while on the campaign trail.
Let’s remember that Bernie Sanders’s plan to make college “free” would do so in name only, as everyone must pay an increased tax rate and face the dangers of probably also hiking government debt in order to cover the costs. Even so, research indicates this would also make college more expensive for everyone.
By taking a look at the government’s spending habits, one can observe a direct correlation between how much the government spends and how much colleges charge. To get specific, for every dollar the federal government spends on college subsidies, the cost of tuition goes up by 55 to 65 cents.
Perhaps this defunct college will serve as a lesson to Bernie Sanders and other socialists: spending other people’s money just doesn’t work out in the long run.