18 August 2011

CPR Colorado Matters Interview on In-State Tuition Reform

Colorado Matters on Colorado Public Radio has a lengthy and meaty interview with me on the subject of in-state tuition reform.  The interview concludes with me explaining how difficult it is for universities to consider change or entertain new ideas.  In related news, CPR reports:
A spokesman for the Colorado Board of Regents says the regents have not discussed this idea and have no plans to do so.
Have a listen and please return with any comments, criticisms or questions!


  1. What I think is so important about this discussion is the way it highlights how tuition is being set at public campuses across the country. Right now, tuition is set to a level high enough to overcome the shortfall in funds due to dwindling resources from the state, and low enough to seem palatable. If, in fact, the state truly feels an obligation to fund students' education, the real discussion should be - how much should tuition be in relation to the average income of our state's families? And how much in relation to the projected income of the students after graduation? (i.e. what should their max. loan burden be?) And then, the state would take on the obligation of securing the funds to make sure the institutions charged with educating the state's students are funded properly. Only 20 or so years ago, students could come away with a great education from a state college or university and have very little - if no - student loans to pay off. Now, the students and their families are, in a way, taxed directly for a service the state (or in my case, the Commonwealth), used to provide because the Commonwealth agreed an educated citizenry was a the best kind of citizenry to have. It is too easy for legislators to continually cut (or level-fund for decades) education, and expect students and their families to pick up the slack. Yes, public education is still great, and yes, it is a far cry less expensive than private peer institutions. Does that mean students should still be expected to take tens of thousands of dollars in loans to make it through?

    Roger's proposal highlights how the states have been slowly abandoning their obligation to fund public higher education for years. In the face of that, how does this public (public/private) education compete? Is it really appropriate to fund in-state students with out-of-state student tuition?

    Great questions we all should be thinking about.

  2. Everyone benefits when vendors calculate a value and post a price; the consumer makes a decision and takes a seat, without State interference. Special pleading/interests benefit from Commonwealth meddling.
    I agree, Roger: remove social engineering from the equation. The market works, efficiently - eventually. My out-of-country friends should pay no tariff.