I had dinner this evening at the local iHOP in Edmond, Oklahoma, and visited with my server who is attending school at Oklahoma City University to earn his MBA. He’s having to take some time off, however, to work two jobs and earn enough money to start paying his tuition and fees again.
This got me thinking about why universities have in-state and out-of-state tuition at all? Ostensibly, universities give preference to residents from their own state who are paying state taxes and contributing to the financial base which sustains the public university system. But I wonder if this preference is justified or desirable? Shouldn’t we support as many people as possible furthering their educations, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels? I wonder if commercial, educational organizations like the University of Phoenix discriminate between state residents and non-residents? I would guess no, but I’m not sure.
I’m reminded of something David Thornburg said in the NECC 2006 webcast with Ian Jukes and Barry Vercoe. He said (I’m paraphrasing) “We need a planet filled with creative people, not just a nation.” I agree!
Educational institutions are amazingly slow to change, and I am not expecting our US institutions of higher learning to change anytime soon. But I wish they would make some changes when it comes to tuition and fees. In the early 1990s, a 3 hour graduate class at Texas Tech University cost around $250 total, not counting books. Last spring when I took my last graduate class, I paid over $800 for a single 3 hour class. I think that is inflationary ridiculousness.
The National Autonomous University of Mexico offers free tuition for students. It would probably he heresy to suggest any public university in the US adopt the same policy, but I think it’s worth considering. I know the United States is regarded as having the finest universities in the world, and a big reason for this reputation has to do with the financial systems which support them, their faculty and research programs. I am not suggesting that ALL universities should have free tuition. I am questioning, however, the assumption that we should make non-resident students (including international students) pay a ridiculously greater amount for the same educational experience at our public universities in the United States. There is a sizeable undercurrent of ethnocentrism in the immigration debates that are ongoing in the United States, and I’m guessing a lot of US citizens would support a continuation of largely elitist university educational policies. But the fact that this may be supported by public opinion does not make it the right or moral condition.
I wish university costs were less for everyone. Education opens the door to opportunity. We should work to open that door for even more students, at the K-12 and the university levels.
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On this day..
- Email Multiple Photos from an iPad to A Blogger Site - 2013
- Nebraska Science Teachers Model "Go Outside" Best Practices with Students - 2011
- Quick-edit Videography with iMovie for iPad - 2011
- Surviving the Liberian Civil War - A Personal Story - 2010
- Google Images now integrates Creative Commons Searches - 2009
- The challenge: Record "Geek Rockstar" - 2008
- Leverage Multimedia in Your Online Courses by Eric Fudge (integrating SCORM within your LMS) - 2008
- links for 2008-07-09 - 2008
- Graphic design fun - 2007
- Ethnic cleansing in Iraq - 2006