Overall, I think it’s very clear that people will have more opportunity to access education, but much less clear how that education will translate into opportunity, particularly for those who weren’t born to successful, educated parents. And except for a few superstars, I think the shift would be unequivocally bad for tenured professors. The corollary, however, is that it would be unequivocally good for the legions who are lured into grad school by the chimera of a tenured professorship.
Would it be good for society as a whole? I tend to think that it almost always is when things get cheaper. But we will have to rethink how we fund important research, and quite possibly, about what the engines of mobility will be for strivers who start out in the bottom quintiles.