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Should SUNY Schools Be Allowed to Set Tuitions?

By Vincent Smith
On March 26, 2010

  • The New Academic Village building. Photo by Deodate Davis

College tuitions have been increasing at a rate of approximately seven-percent each year. In recent studies, taking into consideration the increased inflation in prices for gas, food, water, electric, transportation, and merchandise, college tuition has been increasing at twice the rate of necessities.

Why is it that college tuition is sky-rocketing? How can it be that while tuition rates climb, colleges claim to have no money? Where is all this money going?

Governor Paterson is proposing a plan that will allow each SUNY campus more autonomy. What this basically means is that each SUNY campus will be allowed to control and set its own fees and prices for tuition. If the plan is successful, OW tuition may hit another level. If SUNY campuses make tuition fees high enough, they will potentially deny thousands of qualified students the access to affordable public higher education. Enactment of this proposal would mean there is a good chance that parents, students or whoever's paying the tuition bill, will see college tuition as something astronomically and unreasonably high.

In addition, by allowing campuses this type of authority over tuition, the state may be trying to reduce its support of SUNY as well as college financial aid programs. Slashes on programs like this will burden students and families with unbearable college fees.
This proposal will transform a public college higher education campus into a private educational institution. There should be more control over SUNY college tuitions and rules that determine and limit the increase rates at which SUNY colleges are allowed to propose a tuition increase. These tuition increases should be based on the overall inflation rate, a student's merit, and a student's need. If rules like these were put into effect, there would be greater justification behind the notorious tuition increases each year.

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