Who Should Pay for College Tuition (Letter to the Editor)

Who Should Pay for College Tuition (Letter to the Editor)

March 11, 1999
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal

As a student I appreciate your call for colleges and universities to ante up more of their own funds to pay for needy students' tuition aid, instead of looking to D.C. for additional money. Government assistance is not necessary; in fact, it ends up working against students from low- and middle-class backgrounds.

Most schools require students to take out the maximum amount of government grants and loans before they even consider doling out their own cash. It has long been observed that schools adjust their fees upward in tandem with every new government initiative to "help" finance a college education, whether through handouts or tax credits. This process leaves working-class students with tens of thousands of dollars in needless debts upon graduation, which makes it much harder to climb the earnings' ladder later in life.

These subsidies help explain why at a time when the cost of everything from corn to computers is deflating, the average college tuition rose another 3.8% last year.

By Kevin Galvin