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    If you subsidize them, they will come.

    If you subsidize them, they will come.

    Kathleen

    “[The] University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proposing a new tuition structure to allow it to charge engineering students significantly more for a bachelor’s degree than it charges English majors. … According to research by Glen Nelson, senior vice president of finance and administration for the Arizona Board of Regents, only five institutions used the practice for undergraduate students before 1988. As of this year, 57 percent of 162 public research institutions did so, including the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.”

    This strikes me as pretty silly. Subsidizing groups of study (since I assume they will not adjust the teacher salaries to fit this model) will only yield a distortion in the number of people studying certain topics. The sciences and engineering majors may technically use more dollars for materials and space, but they also receive research and development grants also help run these departments. Though they will raise some money for now, these schools will attract less talent and will see their grant money start to deplete.

    The way I see it now, the system actually works pretty well…. I mean, with the whole “everyone pays the same thing.” (After all, private four year colleges increase tuition prices by more than two dollars for every dollar increase in Pell Grants, and public colleges increase theirs by .97 for every dollar increase. From 1979 to the present day, college tuition has increased in price by roughly 160%, while the average median family income has increased by 10%.)

    Thoughts?

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    Comments


    It has been my understanding the instructors in the engineering field earned more than those in the English field simply because there was more opportunity for work outside the university. Perhaps this does, in fact, justify a high relative price for the product. It says nothing about overall price of college.


     
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    Andy | May 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    In my undergrad curriculum as a student athlete in a very socialist state- the University had re-appropriated funds from the computer science program because of grants the department brought in. The Dept was PISSED.

    Because of my unique scholarship circumstances I was in the habit of asking professors and departments to let me physcially take classes one quarter while not signed up- and then double down with registrar on the tuition break for lots of credits the following quarter. My academic year looked like this 4 credits summer, 20 credits fall, 4 credits winter, 20 credits spring.

    Every member of the department happily obliged sticking it back to the university.

    Who doesn't love the underground economy in a socialist system?

    I know that the Engineering Dept at LSU brings in a lot of money every year from industry. Not sure that the English Dept brings in any.

    Seems like we should tax English majors, social science and philosophy and political science majors, and give discounts to engineers and hard science majors since the latter are the most productive to society, and the former, the least productive.


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