Elizabeth Warren, makin' it up again, this time about bein' too poor to go to college

Is Elizabeth Warren misrepresenting her history, poormouthing her lower middle class background into dirt-poor 'can't-even-afford-a-college-application-fee' poor? 

Sure sounds like it, with this latest tweet:


Matt Margolis at PJMedia interprets that as a phony suggestion that she was so poor she couldn't even afford to go to college. She went to college just fine, he notes, suggesting she was concealing her record.

But I read it slightly differently from him. What she's saying is that only a debate scholarship, at George Washington University, got her in, according to her tweet. No scholarship, no college.

Which is suspect in itself, given that she probably would have had to pay the George Washington University application fee anyway just to have been able to apply for the scholarship. If she did, somehow she would have gotten mom and dad to shell out for that.

To say that George Washington was her first-choice of school is suspect, too, given that there are lots and lots of schools out there and she probably applied to others, too, fancier and less fancy, meaning, her parents paid application fees for them, too, somehow not being too poor to afford them, as she said.

A GWU application fee, based on estimates of other schools at the time, probably would have been about $25. The fanciest schools in 1965 charged in the $35 to $50 range (and these are very rough ballpark figures) so for less-prestigious schools such as George Washington University, which today is a distinguished school, but years ago, was considered middling, would have been around $25.

She couldn't afford that? She probably did afford that, and more, more, more.

George Washington, which knows the ways of Washington, has always been an expensive school. Tuition in 1965 at GW was $700 a semester, or $1,400 a year in 1965, which was likely more than other places. Warren claiming she couldn't go to college, was probably a reference to being unable to go to pricey George Washington U without a scholarship.

Yet she did get into George Washington all right, supposedly by the skin of her teeth on a debate scholarship, and says that without it there would be no college at all for her. Actually, there probably just would have been no George Washington.

To me, it's telling that she specifically mentioned college-application fees, rather than tuition itself. My parents weren't all that different from hers, from hardscrabble and small town backgrounds (in their case, in the Midwest), and around 1980 when I applied to college, it wasn't a matter of them not being able to pay the fees, they just didn't want to. Why should they pay fees to high-falutin' places in far off states when there were good state schools and they had been paying taxes to support them for years?

It was probably the same deal with Warren's parents in Oklahoma, which also has good state schools. In my case, if I wanted to apply to those other places, I had to cough up the money myself.

Warren herself negated her own argument about college not being affordable when it turns out she ended up finishing at a state college, this time in Texas, where she moved with her first husband after dropping out of George Washington U. So much for college being out of reach, it was there for her in 1965 and it's still there now.

What I suspect happened with Warren was that her parents knew she was a bad investment and would probably drop out to marry someone, so why pay for a degree that would be unlikely to be completed? They would have known that she was flighty and put her boyfriend matters before academics, and didn't have the wherewithal to complete a college degree. Why finance that if the figured she'd just marry and dump the degree stuff they'd shelled out so much for? It would be throwing good money after bad. No wonder they didn't want to pay for her college application fees.

Now she's making herself the victim and her state college degree after a scholarship dropout elsewhere a virtue.

It's another phony story, almost as phony as her fake-Indian story, her fake fired-pregnant-teacher story, or her fake research, but now she's getting more sophisticated in her inventions.


Image credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

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