The Arizona Desert Lamp

Tuition Day Eve

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 4 December 2008

Good news from the tuition front, which is being decided as we speak:

President Robert Shelton lowered his original proposal of a 13.1 percent increase to a 9 percent increase, and introduced a new indexed tuition plan on Monday, which would start in 2010.

Predictability is a worthy goal, as is accountability. But both of these are pretty useless if you can’t secure low tuition rates — not just “affordability,” a term on par with “as free as possible” and “drinkability” in its utter lack of meaninglessness. I’d rather a completely opaque raise that simply accounted for inflation, than a 10 percent raise that is “accountable” and directed towards students. Whether the money goes to ASUA appropriations or Shelton, it comes out of my pocket in the end.

Yet if you’re going towards “accountability” or transparency (a laudable goal), you’ll find that there’s another change needed in tuition determination — program variation. From the Goldwater Institute’s paper on “The Michigan Model”:

Importantly, U-M does not charge a flat tuition rate for undergraduate or graduate education. Each academic program varies in price, and a slightly higher tuition is charged for upperclassmen. This practice is the result of U-M’s attempt to make tuition match actual costs.

As we move towards the same model, where a raise in tuition can be tied with a given cost (as opposed to going into a pot and vanishing into the ivory ether), it won’t be long before this sort of model is implemented.

Incidentally, ASA’s website doesn’t seem to have been updated since July. That doesn’t exactly look good when you’re trying to posture as a legitimate lobbying entity.


2 Responses

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  1. J said, on 5 December 2008 at 9:50 am

    FYI, the Regents said yesterday that tuition will be increased 3.7%

  2. […] made a lot of noise about adopting the Michigan model here at the Lamp, but launching a campaign to raise […]

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