See, that pretty much sucks, and I didn't know that. It would be a lot less politically divisive if they instituted some kind of general tuition (like other states have) effectively making STEM degrees and liberal arts degrees equivalent in cost. 8-10 semester hours is still (at $200/hour which is a completely made-up estimate based on my vague recollection of what some
I never would have paid that in college. In fact, I'd have made a point to make as big a stink about it as possible. But, that;s just me.
I'd like a source for your proposal that "scientists contribute more to the overall economy" than news reporters, teachers, etc. As for "only smart people" being admitted to public colleges, generally public schools accept anyone with an average ACT score (the public school I went to accepted students with C averages and a 14 on the ACT) so... anyone willing to put forth minimal effort can get into a university (even if they have to go to community college first) so... both your points are
There are a lot of ways it "could" be done and a lot of them would work well in a perfect world... but not in this world. Nepotism and bigotry will always tangle up and taint programs like the one being proposed. "I think teachers are important because my wife is a teacher" is how these things go - yes, teachers are important, but so are software engineers. Should every teacher get to go to school free (regardless of what happens after they graduate, which this program doesn't take into account, even if they decide to become child care workers or private school tutors or housespouses) while every software engineer should have to pay just because one person (or ten, or even a hundred people) think that they should?
I don't necessarily disagree with you. Mostly I just like to argue.
If all else fails, lower your standards.