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Caps - closing options

September 14, 2005

Over the past five years tuition increases have had dramatic affects on students and families. This has caught the eye of many elected officials at the state a federal level. For example, in South Carolina, the Governor is calling for tuition caps to prevent tuition increases: http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/local/12638606.htm

Elected officials can position tuition caps as an answer to a problem that does not require them to allocate any money. This is becoming a popular solution that could have negative consequences for public institutions.

If costs continue to rise and budgets remain stagnant for higher education institutions, such proposals will negatively impact the quality of higher education. The silver lining in the budget cuts over the past few years has been that institutions could always increase tuition to minimize the impact of cuts. These proposals will effectively cut that option out and starve higher education institutions.

Institutions will need to build the support among students and parents to effectively handle this issue. Building those relationships will be key to not only address this issue but helpful in building support and reputation for institutions.

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