By: Bill Bosher
Higher Education is facing more difficult economic times. Larger class sizes, increased faculty loads, reduction of programs, and tuition increases are all remedies that are discussed. While tuition is the most politically charged, it is a double-edged sword.
While one side increases the inequity between state regulation and state support, the other compounds an already epidemic of student debt that cripples those who have graduated, many without meaningful jobs, as well as those who left school with long term obligations and no degree. It is clearly a paradox to increase the burden on students and their families. As for those who might argue that a fee for services model makes good academic sense, the question of whether or not there should be a public higher education system is fundamental.
Tuition clearly has regressive characteristics. The greatest impact is upon those who can least afford it. As asserted earlier, "if you are capable, go to the most expensive private institution that you can and you are likely to leave with less debt." Exigency is a condition of urgency and fiscal exigency, a term of art, is a financial crisis in which K-12 and higher education may break traditional employment contracts…maybe we should remember for whom schools were created!