Harvard and Yale recently announced a tuition-free education to students who qualify academically and whose parents can't be expected to foot the bill -- families with income up to $180,000 in Harvard's case. A spate of articles have since appeared noting that these grand gestures are likely to compromise affordability for most students. Indeed, most students don't qualify for Ivy League schools or other elite schools earning endowment income sufficient to finance the tuition-free model. See, for example, Sandra Block's article in the 02/05 USA Today and the 02/05 opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed by William G. Durden and Robert J. Massa to understand the dilemmas facing non-elite private and public institutions and their students. For these institutions -- most institutions -- controlling per-student annual operating costs is the only path to maintaining the affordability of average (per-student) net tuition. Absent sufficient endowment earnings and facing the prospect of flat or decreasing per-student public funding subsidies, most schools will have to use technology to increase the student-to-instructor ratio, which is a reliable proxy for per-student costs. The future of affordability depends on IT-enabled innovation and redesign of the instructional delivery model. The Chairman of the Board of the Lumina Foundation, apparently agrees -- see Higher Ed Challenge by John M. Muntz in the 02/09 in RedOrbit.