We’ve blogged in the past about the college tuition inflation. Now some students think they may have a solution. FixUC, a student organization based at UC Riverside, wants the university to stop charging tuition and instead take 5 percent of students’ yearly salaries for the first 20 years after graduation. ”Charging students when they don’t have money doesn’t make sense,” says Chris LoCascio, the group’s leader. “In 20 years, our plan would double the amount of money coming into the UC system.”
The Economist points out some problems with the plan:
If universities become more income focused, will low-yielding, but socially valuable fields like philosophy wind up short of resources? To some degree, the university-for-all model already undermines our idyllic version of university. As more of the population goes to university, and must pay for it, more esoteric subjects naturally become less popular.
A trickier concern may be what happens if this approach is not implemented everywhere? If you know you will study engineering and earn a high salary wouldn’t you then opt for a school with a fixed, up-front cost—assuming that means you’ll come out ahead? Then would all the talented engineers go to other universities and potentially undermine California schools?