Claire Potter, in a [*Times* op-ed on rethinking U.S. higher ed for the post-pandemic era](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/opinion/sunday/free-college-tuition-coronavirus.html):

> So what must change? To start, public colleges and universities should be truly public and tuition-free; private ones, a crucial and longstanding resource, should be discounted by the cost of a public education. Federal loans should be generous, interest-free and forgivable, perhaps in exchange for national service. To paraphrase my late friend, the historian Jesse Lemisch, we need a federal New Deal for higher education, supported by tax dollars, that breaks the stranglehold tuition has on American families.

Potter, like [Simon Torracinta](https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/extinction-event/) and [Corey Robin](https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-pandemic-is-the-time-to-resurrect-the-public-university), has the crucial point that our current system is anything but natural—the result, instead, of a series of [regressive choices](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/opinion/sunday/free-college-tuition-coronavirus.html) over the last fifty years, reversible given the political will.