Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

NATIONWIDE TUITION FREEZE COULD RESTORE U.S. TO #1

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

By Robert Weiner and Zoe Pagonis

August 20, 2009

Originally published in the New Jersey Star Ledger

We were number one, back in 1992. Now the United States ranks fourth in the world for college completion, with only 39 percent of Americans holding degrees.

The Russian Federation (50.4 percent), Canada (47 percent) and Japan (40.5 percent) are all ahead of us, so far. We rank 11th in the percentage of graduates among people age 25-34, a sign that other nations are rapidly passing us by.

President Obama recognizes the urgency. To make college accessible to more Americans, he budgeted $129 billion in new grants, loans and work-study programs.

That's a start. But tuition has risen so fast that we have reached a point where, for many, the debt is not worth the degree.

Over the past decade, according to College Board, the average annual cost of going to a four-year public college has reached $6,585, more than double what it was in 2000 and more than quadruple the cost in 1982.

The logical explanation for such enormous increases would be increased quality of college education. However, according to the U.S. Census, in 2007, the earnings advantage of college graduates over high school grads actually dropped by 6 percent.

It comes down to dollars for degrees - at least as important as cash for clunkers.

Fifteen states will have no increase for the coming year. However, this September, students in 35 states will return to their campuses to find higher tuition rates. New Jersey students will be among them, but will be helped by a new 3 percent tuition cap for all state colleges-an improvement over the previous year's increases including 8.5% at Rutgers, 7% at Montclair State and 7.25% at Rowan University.

More needs to be done.

It is time for Congress and individual states to adopt the model of Maryland, where public college tuition costs have been frozen since 2006. Diverting a small portion of the federal budget - approximately $800 million - could pay for a tuition freeze at every public institution across the nation, increase attendance and reduce student debt. It's a reasonable shift if the U.S. wants to return to No. 1 in college graduations.

Under Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who made it a big campaign issue, his state initiated the 3 year public college tuition freeze while keeping educational quality intact. The state centralized purchasing and made other systems more efficient to cut expenses.

Ranked number one by Education Weekly for K-12 education, Maryland "keeps its best students in the state" through college, said Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President for the American Council on Education. This is not the case for New Jersey.

Ranked fifth for best K-12 education, New Jersey exports 19,000 bright, well-prepared students a year to out-of-state colleges - the most in the country. Could the $11,886 in state tuition at Rutgers for the fall 2009 semester (compared to $8,057 for University of Maryland) have something to do with it? We are both graduates of highly regarded Garden State high schools but - we sadly admit - both attended universities outside New Jersey.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Robert Weiner, NATIONAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND ISSUES STRATEGIST Bob Weiner, a national issues and public affairs strategist, has been spokesman for and directed the public affairs offices of White House Drug Czar and Four Star General Barry (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Vote Against Their Own Interest?

Food Stamp Myth Busting

Iran: Nuclear Weapons or Peaceful Energy?

All Athletes Should Face the Same Tough Drug Testing

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE STIFFENING HEALTH CARE OPPOSITION: FOLLOW THE MONEY

Romney's Olympic Secrets Belie Management Skills

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments