Hey, It’s Still Cheaper than Harvard!

The College of William & Mary will boost the cost of tuition, room, board and fees for in-state students by nine percent next year. That strikes me as excessive. But, hey, the administration can get away with it. Generating great buzz as the best small public university in the country, W&M suffers no shortage of applicants.

The Board appears to be embracing a policy of charging what the market will bear. With the cost of attending W&M still “only” $15,422 a year, the market clearly can bear a lot more. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has the story here.

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5 responses to “Hey, It’s Still Cheaper than Harvard!”

  1. kingfish Avatar

    Jim- It’s OK for W&M to strive to be academically elite. What’s troubling is with the spiraling cost of higher ed to families it is becoming economically elite as well. This is a direct consequence of misplaced political priorities. Once Virginia valued affordable access to its public universities and subsidized their operation to a greater extent than they do now. As costs rose and other public commitments competed vigorously for funding, the flat earthers decided that the single greatest imperative was to hold the line on taxes, or even decrease them if possible. If a college education at a first rate institution becomes the preserve of the wealthy or those willing to assume massive personal debt, well that’s just one of the prices of right wing governance.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    This is a direct consequence of the General Assembly’s decision to grant these elite state universities freedom from oversight. We, our parents and grandparents and great grandparents built these institutions with their taxes and donations and their own love for these schools, and in six years we won’t even know they were state institutions. We’ve been had, folks.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    And to continue, Kingfish has a point. The General Assembly granted them that autonomy in large part because it didn’t want to make the necessary tax-based investments. This is the New GOP model for education, and when they start selling off existing roads to the French and Saudis so we can start paying tolls on roads we’ve already built, we’ll see the New GOP model for transportation in action.

  4. Toomanytaxes Avatar

    How about actually trying to operate our colleges and universities efficiently? Their costs increase annually at rates that significantly exceed inflation, but we seem to ignore that. At the same time, we are up in arms about increases in energy costs.

    Perhaps, a good case can be made that more tax money should go to our public institutions of higher learning, but why can’t we first try some management controls? Do we have other VDOTs in Virginia? Some of us have read the state auditors report indicating that VDOT has no internal cost controls. Do Virginia’s public colleges and universities have any?

  5. kingfish Avatar

    It’s really quite simple. Back in the ’50’s there was a recognition of what was termed a ” brain drain” and Virginia decided to do something about it. There was a renewed emphasis on both quality and accessability of our public institutions of higher education which began in the ’60’s and carried on pretty well through the Baliles administration. Virginia paid 70% of the cost of an instate student attending a public university and the student paid 30%. For community colleges ( the great work of Mills Godwin) the split was 80/20. Commitment to this level of funding started to slip when Gov. Wilder refused to exempt higher ed from the budget cuts necessitated by the recession in the early ’90’s. Not only was the cut money nvere restored, the situation has continued to deteriorate today. Virginia still enjoys excellent public universities as the commitment to quality is unabated. It is the commitment to financial accessablity, the belief that a quality education is the great equalizer in modern society, that has suffered.

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