Make college cost more

Shirley V. Svorny

Recent decisions by the California State University Board of Trustees and the University of California regents to increase student fees have been attacked by critics who insist that higher education subsidies are critical for California’s economic growth and prosperity.
This is not true; the state’s prosperity rests on public policies that encourage economic activity, not on heavy subsidies to higher education.
Moreover, artificially low fees attract some students to higher education who simply aren’t suited to the academic rigors of a university. Ultimately, the presence of these lower-achieving students hurts those who are more academically inclined, as they end up in watered-down courses in which professors have to focus on bringing the low achievers along.

One thought on “Make college cost more”

  1. This hypothesis sinks, after time, for a variety of reasons. If state governments want to address the impact that “lower-achieving students” are having then you can simply raise the admissions standards. How you do this in community (and technical) colleges is challenging because they exist to provide postsecondary education opportunities to those students not served by the liberal arts colleges, regional state universities, and research universities.
    More to the point, state governments are slowly admitting that they cannot continue to afford high levels of financial aid to counter the adverse impacts of escalating tuition levels, which is now biting academically qualified, low- and middle-income families.
    So, many of the Midwestern states and other states that have embraced low-tuition and low-aid philosophies (CA, North Carolina, etc.) are now in a quandry.

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