Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Room-for-debate on lowering college tuition

The Times offers twelve viewpoints on reducing college tuition, specifically in response to Gov. Rick Perry's call for a $10,000 college degree. There is quite a diversity of perspectives, and there are a bunch of interesting ideas, many of which seem focused on squeezing more output (student-taught-hours) from faculty. But the prize goes to the president emeritus of GWU, who offers these gems (emphasis mine):

"We can reinvent what we call the college experience. Will it be the same? No it won’t. Will it be better or worse? Yes it will. I hope the governor does not have plans for a $10,000 medical degree."

That last nugget sums it up well! Presumably reductions in marginal cost will reflect reductions in marginal benefits and outcomes, unless we're talking about greater taxpayer subsidies.