The excerpt at the bottom of this post is representative of the increasing failure of states to guarantee (on a multi-year basis) per-student subsidies, whether to public institutions and/or students (scholarships). Without some reasonable assurance of per-student funding based on state demographic projections, it is difficult for public colleges and universities to plan for and accommodate enrollment fluctuations.
On the other side of the public funding equation, however, public institutions have failed to plan and account for their per-student annual operating expenses as a first step toward increasing their productivity through the wise use of capital-offsetting and per-student-expense-reducing technology-enabled program and service redesign. They have failed to use technology-enabled service process redesign to increase their enrollment capacity on a reduced per-enrollment expense basis.
The result of institutional productivity decreases and unpredictable state per-student funding patterns has been extra-inflationary tuition increases year after year, including the latest increases just reported by the College Board (details on its website) as follows:
- "At public four-year institutions, in-state tuition and fees average $6,185, or $381 more than last year, a 6.6 percent increase. In 2007-08, average total charges (which include both room and board and tuition and fees), are $13,589, a 5.9 percent increase over last year. The average full-time student at a public four-year school receives about $3,600 in grants and tax benefits, which lowers the average tuition and fees to a net price of about $2,600."
- "At public two-year institutions, tuition and fees average $2,361, a $95 or 4.2 percent increase. The average full-time student in this sector receives about $2,040 in grants and tax benefits, lowering the average tuition and fees to a net price of about $320."
Community colleges are doing better than their four-year public counterparts in maintaining the affordability of access.
State colleges getting choosier: Florida high school seniors face a tougher time getting accepted into a state university; many universities reject at least half of applicants.
Donna Gehrke-White & Fred Tasker, Miami Herald, October 21, 2007
Hubert Phanord considers the irony cruel: He couldn't get into his mother's alma mater, Florida International University. But he was accepted at Atlanta's Morehouse College, a private college that is the alma mater of Spike Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. ''Why are they not admitting [more] Florida residents?'' wonders Phanord, a graduate of Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame in Miami, about Florida's university system. He is attending Broward Community College to improve his grade-point average in the hope of earning scholarships to defray Morehouse's yearly $17,000 tuition. His question is pressing for tens of thousands of high school seniors facing a grim reality: Almost 30,000 would-be college freshmen were turned away from Florida's 11 public universities in 2006, 70 percent more than in 2000. Read more ...