Opinion

Editorial: Tuition increases too much to not consider our options



$2,339.

For many seniors graduating in a few weeks, that’s how much more they’re now paying in a year for tuition and fees than they were when they started four years ago. It’s a 32-percent increase in the span of just four years.

As student debt rises (as we discussed a couple weeks ago), and those graduating find fewer jobs, it becomes appropriate to ask: Aren’t we approaching a place where college will soon grow unfeasible for a large group of people in Oregon?

Essentially, if we have not already gone off the edge of the cliff, when will we? When will we reach a place that we can not rely solely on shaky state support?

It’s already the case for many people — again, as we discussed two weeks ago, mammoth student debts dominate the conversation, and for good reason. They hit $1 trillion a short while ago.

But at some point — if tuition continues to grow the way it is — a college education is not going to be doable for many students.

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We’re not going to sit here and say that we should just do the New Partnership. It’s not necessarily the best answer, in and of itself. But what the New Partnership did and does is open up a conversation that needs to happen. We can’t continue to rely on a system that’s broken, and this system is broken.

Every time the state is forced to raise tuition like this in the face of a student debt crisis, we’re failing.

And so, if state support continues to dwindle as it has, we need to find a solution outside of simply restructuring how we work within the state system. Not privatizing, but trying to find a way to rely less on just state support.

Because right now, it seems like people are getting punished for getting a college education — unable to know four years down the road how much they’ll be paying if they sign on now.

And — on an aside — how long can the state truly expect to support the University in single-digit percentage points while maintaining ultimate control over the firing powers of a president?

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Remember that 32 percent number over four years we mentioned earlier? If a proposal becomes approved at Friday’s meeting for the State Board of Higher Education, it will become a 44 percent over a five-year span. To $9,310 next year compared with $8,789 this year. @@https://docs.google.com/a/dailyemerald.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1.1&thid=137a0ec6622c8959&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D1c25565584%26view%3Datt%26th%3D137a0ec6622c8959%26attid%3D0.1.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&[email protected]@ @@http://financialaid.uoregon.edu/12_13_cost_of_attendance  SO the numbers are different in the googledoc and the UO website… who to [email protected]@

It’s increasing too much to not reconsider our options.

It’s the system’s fault and if we do end up plunging off that cliff it will be due to a blatant lack of innovation and urgency.


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