Friday, November 20, 2009

University of California Raises Tuition 32%...

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...students protest, occupying buildings.
Just a couple of months ago, we noted that Barack Obama compared his health care proposals to the current relationship between public and private colleges.

They argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with the government. And they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be. I've insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits and excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers, and would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.

Now, University of California Regents have raised tuition costs 32% while at the same time admitting few students each year to the UC system. Can you say "rationing"?

Despite raucous student protests at UCLA that poured onto the streets of Westwood, the University of California Board of Regents Thursday approved a 32 percent fee increase that will push UC annual tuition above $10,000 for the first time.

Tuition at the 10 UC campuses will increase by $585 in the spring, then another $1,344 next fall. Along with a $900 registration fee, the hikes will bring annual in-state UC tuition to $10,302, not including campus fees, housing and books.

Can anyone imagine that if the UC Regents were to assume responsibility for every private college in the state as well, that somehow they could somehow both reduce costs and provide a better education to the state's college students? Or would prices go up and enrollment be restricted at those schools, too?

Welcome to Obamacare, Education Division!

Update: Kevin over at Say Anything had this graphic of the rapid increase of college tuition:
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Cross posted at Say Anything


  1. Amazing graph. Here's one interpretation. Two of the curves show prices increasing significantly faster than inflation: education and health care. What do they have in common? Significant involvement in purchasing decisions by third party payers, including the government. Apparel, on the other hand, is typically purchased without state subsidy. Hmmm, that's actually decining. Wow.

  2. Declining apparel prices could be due in part to cheap imports. But, medical and education at two to three plus times the increase as the consumer price index, I believe you make a valid point.


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