Editorial: Rube Goldberg’s Tuition Invention

Editorial | Guest columnist, November 29, 2012, The Gainesville Sun
There is a good case, several in fact, to be made for the notion of differential tuition rates in the State University System.

First, there is the supply and demand case: If there is a great demand for certain degree holders, who can therefore expect to command larger salaries, then charging a higher tuition for those degrees makes a certain business sense.

Conversely, there is the public service case: To entice students into crucial but relatively low-paying careers — teaching or child welfare professionals come to mind — lower tuition costs would seem justifiable.

Then there is the cost-of-service case. Some degrees — science and engineering for instance — simply cost more to offer than others, and should therefore command higher tuition rates.

But the differential tuition plan being pushed by Gov. Rick Scott’s higher education task force would seem to have no such logical nexis.

Turning supply and demand on its head, the task force would charge less for “high-skill, high-wage, high-demand degree programs” and more for degrees that are presumed to lead to lower-demand, lower-pay occupations.

Continue reading on The Gainesville Sun website.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the positions of UFF-UF.