If you live in New Jersey and you are really, really lucky, you might end up only paying $3 for college.
New Jersey state Rep. John Burzichelli (D) proposed legislation Monday that would establish a lottery for residents with college debt.Inside Higher Ed explains:
Before a ticket could even be purchased, the individual would have to register online with information about the amount of debt they had to make sure that, in case he or she were to win, the correct amount would be doled out to cover solely the amount of debt. The winner wouldn’t receive the funds directly; they would go directly to the institution where the money is owed. The lottery would be run by an outside vendor, which would also receive about 25 percent of the pot.
“It becomes a choice and it’s a chance,” Burzichelli said. “I hope that any kind of person in a lottery or a casino game does so within the limits of what they can afford.”
But the proposal is already getting criticism about the message it sends.
“There’s ways of making sure that they’re cracking down on state disinvestment, not cutting higher education in their state like many governors are doing. There’s a slew of other solutions to student loan debt,” Natalia Abrams, executive director of Student Debt Crisis, said. “I don’t think the lottery is the right one.”
Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access and Success, told Inside Higher Ed the lottery was “a bad idea.”
“The only winner would be the company running the lottery who gets 25 cents on every dollar,” she said.