AirTalk for November 22, 2010

Should a college education cost more not less?

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Students at UC Berkeley carry signs as they march through campus during a national day of action against funding cuts and tuition increases.

Cal State University trustees recently approved a 15% hike in undergraduate fees. Critics of this decision argue that in order for California to have a world class education system, school should cost less, not more, and that the state should increase education subsidies. But Shirley Svorny, a professor of economics at Cal State Northridge, attacks this notion in an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times. Svorny contends that “the state’s prosperity rests on public policies that encourage economic activity, not on heavy subsidies to higher education.” She also says that low fees attract some underachieving students. What do you think? Should college cost more or less? Would higher tuition attract more committed students? Or should we keep tuition down and increase education subsidies for the public good?


Shirley Svorny, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, California State University Northridge

Professor Michael Hout, Professor and Chair, Department of Demography University of California, Berkeley; author of forthcoming book: Rationing Opportunity (which is about the admissions squeeze)

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