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Do State Universities Still Truly Exist?

July 18th, 2016

Many well-known state universities are increasing tuition by significant percentages, year after year; sadly, that’s not news. But few realize that these universities are also increasing out-of-state and international student enrollment to generate even more tuition dollars.

Why the need? Many state legislatures have pulled back funding, leaving universities to develop alternative revenue streams. In doing so, they are very often shutting doors to needy young citizens. Just ask us, and we’ll get on our soapbox about this terrible state of affairs.

Sometimes, state universities chase after non-residents to improve their enrolled student profile, targeting students from affluent and educated families who are more likely to bring the test scores that will help with precisely that. The University of Alabama, for example, has been luring non-resident students with strong test scores and grades by offering significant merit scholarships.  Happily, we can say that our students enrolled there are well served.

Today’s link to a New York Times article highlights the downside for in-state residents who may be having more difficulty gaining admission, and the subsequent diminution of one enormously significant facet of the American dream. Ironically, there may be an upside for bright students who are interested in some of the state flagships playing this game, and whose families can afford out-of-state tuition.

Is this fair? Does this have to be a zero-sum game? Do public universities still exist as intended? Are all of the right questions even being asked yet? We welcome your thoughts.

Article published July7, 2016

Written by:  Stephanie Saul

SACRAMENTO — Over three generations, the Michael family forged a deep bond with the University of California, dating back nearly 50 years to when Jay Dee Michael Sr. was the university system’s vice president and chief lobbyist.

Family members proudly displayed degrees from the campuses in Los Angeles, Davis, Berkeley and Santa Barbara. And when Mr. Michael died last year, his family asked that memorial donations go to a U.C. Davis institute. Recently, though, the relationship has soured, a victim of the economic forces buffeting public universities.

Read more at The New York Times >>

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