More Information Needed in Higher Education Debate

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Bernal, Statham and Young are correct that education is vital to the state of California. However, their column misses an obvious problem.

They lament the soaring tuition at California public colleges, mentioning that costs have more than tripled in the last ten years while "these figures are not matched with corresponding increases in education spending." Couldn' t it be that the heavy subsidy of higher education has been the primary cause of the out of control tuition increases? What exactly has gotten three times more expensive for a liberal arts education in the last 10 years?

The authors take this increase as a given. It seems that a better solution to our current predicament than blindly throwing more money at the problem is to understand and correct the cause of the spiraling increases in tuition. A detailed accounting of the revenues and expenses of the UC and CSU system at 10 year intervals for the last 40 years could shed a lot of light on why exactly higher education affordability had disappeared.

Brian Pujanauski is a UC Berkeley graduate student.

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