Student debt is one of the most pressing problems facing the United States today. What might appear to be mainly a challenge for young people and their families actually has a more far-reaching effect on the national economy.
Despite the resistance it is clear that as we move forward, quality and innovation will need to be achieved through redeployment of existing resources, restructuring the ways we deliver our programs and administrative services, and collaborations.
So when the bulk of a college budget (within a public university) comes from student tuition, and the state government reduces its share yet again, how are the costs of the teaching mission to be covered? Tuition must increase.
Does it give rise to the idea that even top colleges themselves cannot afford their own rising tuition? Does it provide more evidence to the argument that state universities and colleges are the way to go?
Today, America's public universities face an explosion of higher education outlets globally, stagnant middle-class incomes, growth of for-profit education providers, and increased efficacy of alternative delivery modes, particularly on the Web.
Tuition policies vary from institution to institution but it can be useful to examine how at least one state university has responded to the decreasing support from the state legislature and increasing tuition costs.
The recession we are experiencing is not a normal, cyclical "blip" -- it is unlike anything that most of us have ever experienced. Consequently, we in higher education have to make some fundamental changes in the way we do business.
At the University of Mary Washington, an unusually bright and articulate student got in touch with me via Twitter to ask for my help in drawing attention to the 25% tuition increase just announced there.