ERIC Number: ED205104
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Indexing Tuition to Cost of Education: The Impact on Students and Institutions. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
Viehland, Dennis W.; And Others
The emerging trend in state higher education finance policy to use and index to establish tuition and fee levels at public institutions was studied, based on a 1980 national survey of tuition-setting policies. It was found that, increasingly, states are adopting indexing to cost of education as an established policy for determining tuition: 14 states index tuition to the cost of education, 3 states index tuition to a specific measure, 30 states do not have an established policy for determining tuition but seem to use incremental pricing, and 3 states have established policies, but use no particular formula to determine tuition. When determining the cost of education according to set accounting practices and charging students a set percentage of this cost, the indexing system must consider: the elements that should be included in the computation of the cost of education or instruction; whether the cost of education should be computed by student level; what percentage of costs should be passed on to students in the form of tuition; and whether percentage charged should vary by student residency or by type of institution. It is suggested that a policy that sets tuition by use of an index has implications for state budgeting, planning, and student enrollment. Indexing tends to curtail institutional control over the amount of money generated from tuition and also to decrease budgetary flexibility in the use of these revenues at the campus level. It is possible that if tuition is indexed to costs that are rapidly increasing, the resulting tuition increases may contribute to enrollment declines. Administrators may also be burdened with the need to conduct annual studies to determine per student instructional or educational costs. Additional concerns include whether students at different institutions are being treated equitably and whether access to higher education is affected by tuition rates based on costing. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1981).