Solutions to Tuition Increase
Opponents of the tuition increase in public schools and universities are recently on the rise, and they have become very vocal. A good example is in 2010 when eight labor MPs tried to oppose tuition but lost in the parliamentary vote (Bishop, para.2). This comes oblivious to the fact that those in private schools pay a higher tuition fee than those in the public sector. Nevertheless, the students are capable of acquiring a lot of support of their cause. Therefore, if at any time one tries to suggest something contrary to what the student suggests, it is regarded as heresy. This paper tackles tuition in colleges and proposes solutions to stop the increase in tuition. It gives specific points that support the retention of tuition because it plays an important role in the education system.
We should raise tuition because, according to higher education, there are two types of appropriations that students receive. The first one is student aid and the second one is the tuition subsidies. Through student aid, the student is assisted directly through programs such as Pell Grants, Perkins and Stafford loans, and work-study arrangements. These programs ensure that they regard the size of the need that the student has and incorporate them in the determination of the amount of the reward that they are to be offered (Philip, p.45). This creates a good atmosphere for lower-income earners as they are the primary beneficiaries of these programs. Therefore, the most vulnerable students benefit from these programs. These aids are available to both public and private schools.
Nevertheless, the greatest focus is on the second type of assistance. The tuition subsidy has brought about many discussions currently that need to be addressed. The assistance offered by the government to the student reflects that the amount of money the student pays in tuition fees cannot fully cover the requirements of their study (Murphy, & Welch, p.67). Unlike student aids, this form of tuition is offered to all students regardless of their financial position. This requires only a student to be enrolled in a public school. Therefore, striking a balance regardless of the student’s financial position has raised many eyebrows and necessitates a discussion that will shed light on the issue of increased tuition. There are several reasons that should be considered to ensure that the practice of subsidizing tuition is decreased, and tuition fees are increased to offset the reduced tuition fee. Some of these main principles include competition, equity, quality, and efficiency.
We should raise tuition because those dealing with subsidizing the tuition fee always have a reason why tuition has to be subsidized to correct the equity imbalance. They have been arguing that the high ability student should not be compromised due to the inability to pay for their school fees. The society at large argues that it is at the receiving end when education is being subsidized. The reason is that a person from a poor background, after getting an education, will contribute more to society than the amount of investment that has been put into his/her education (Peltzman, p.23). The proponents of education argue that, due to the spillover effect of education, the subsidy has to be extended across the board regardless of the economic status of the student. In general, they say that the members of society will benefit more when people become well educated.
We should raise tuition because tuition subsidies bring about unintended problems in the education sector. One of them is the burden that the college bears during the recession year brought about by high enrollment and low support from the state. The other problem is the span of time required for one to graduate as well as the incentives offered in the process. The reason for these problems is due to the countercyclical movement that college enrollment puts across, which is opposite to the business cycle. During increased economic activity, enrollment of students is reduced, while during the time of economic downturn or recessions, enrollment registers high numbers. According to Philip p.57, economist Gary Becker put forward a human capital accumulation model that explains the rationally discounted benefits of students. It is easier to find a job during the boom period than during a recession, making it a good time for attending studies. Due to this countercyclical enrollment that leaves the colleges in a bad economic status during the recession period, making them cut down their expenditure can only be checked by increased tuition fees to ensure that schools learn consistently. The tuition increase will reduce the overdependence of public schools on state money, therefore reducing the effects of the business cycle on them (Peltzman, p.12). Thus closing the gap of being seen as inferior compared to their private school counterparts. It will also ensure that the duration of graduation of students in public school is reduced and aligns with that of private school due to the availability of resources, rather than waiting for funds from the state.
We should raise tuition because, as tuition money is determined by the central authority like CHE in most states, such as Kentucky, it brings about many problems in the quality of the education that has been offered in the state. Therefore, if any improvement is required to improve education and it is not allowed to increase their tuition fee, poor education will always be offered, as the state cannot be able to accommodate this entire fund (Peltzman, p.27). According to the analysis that was done by Charles Clotfelter in Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education, he concluded that the effect of increasing the tuition fee in such schools as Harvard, Duke, University of Chicago, and other schools that are doing well is to increase their education quality and stay competitive with their private counterparts.
Tuition subsidies should be raised because they are only for students enrolled in public schools. This makes it impossible for a student who is attending a private school to access these services. This makes public school a more favorable place for the student who is sheltering from the issue of price, therefore, sheltering these schools from competition from their counterpart private school. In other words, tuition subsidies create quasi-monopoly rights for public universities. This makes these schools receive high enrolment in terms of their prices that make their education quality to be compromised. Due to the lack of competition, many bureaucracies are enabled to thrive, and the possibility of inducing change to either the instructors who are bad or inferior programs is reduced (Peltzman, p.16).
The effect of increased tuition is great and cannot affect the student from a poor background; the reason being that the school aids program can be used to cater for this. This will ensure reduced time for graduation, increase education quality, remove the school monopoly and enhance competition among the schools. Therefore, through proper planning and intensive sensitization increase of the tuition fee can be done in a manner that will not cause mayhem in public school.