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ERIC Number: ED511571
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Tuition-Setting Authority and Deregulation at State Colleges and Universities. Policy Matters: A Higher Education Policy Brief
McBain, Lesley
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
State support for public colleges and universities is based on a historic relationship; these institutions were established to perform the public service mission of predominantly educating residents from local and state-wide communities at a lower price than private, independent colleges and universities. In return, the states appropriated funds for their operation and expansion. Although these state and local appropriations have eroded in recent decades--particularly when contrasted with enrollment growth--and have decreased precipitously in the current recession, they remain the single largest revenue source for public colleges and universities. As a result of multiple factors, institutions will be forced to continue to look toward tuition revenue as a partial replacement for decreased state funding; in recent years, tuition increases have been largely driven by this kind of cost-shifting on the part of states. However, many public colleges and universities remain subject to state control and regulation of their tuition and fees. This control only applies to public institutions in a given state; their counterparts in the private not-for-profit and proprietary sectors can choose to raise tuition and fees as necessary, subject only to their governing boards' or corporate management's approval. Therefore, the current economic recession--combined with the history of insufficient state investment in higher education--has led to some discussion of public university tuition deregulation. This would allow public institutions autonomy to set their own tuition rates rather than have their tuition rates or underlying tuition policy be controlled in whole or in part by state legislatures. This policy brief explores the structures of state college tuition-setting authority and selected recent state tuition deregulation proposals/initiatives, as well as presents some common arguments for and against tuition deregulation. (Contains 6 resources.)
American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 1307 New York Avenue NW Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-7070; Fax: 202-296-5819; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Identifiers - Location: Florida; New York; Texas; Virginia; Washington