During what may be the sharpest economic contraction in United States history, Virginia’s public colleges and universities managed to increase their tuition & fees by 1.6% this year — 1.7% if you don’t include the community colleges, which enacted no increases at all. Despite the challenge of the COVID-19 epidemic and the recession, enrollment at Virginia’s public four-year institutions declined only 0.2%, according to data presented by Peter Blake, executive director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, to the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee today.
I have to credit Virginia’s public universities with their resilience. I’ve been predicting for several years that at some point they would hit a wall of resistance to the ever-escalating cost of attendance. Sooner or later, I thought, students and parents would rebel. Well, that hasn’t happened yet. If the public colleges can survive this year’s double whammy, they may be impervious to market forces. (Hat tip: Steve Haner)