North Carolina is far from the only state whose public colleges and universities are struggling with huge cuts in public funding. As this Reuters article explains, it’s a national phenomenon and one that is, in the eyes of anyone other than conservative ideologues devoted to dismantling our societal commitment to higher education, transforming things for the worse. As the article puts it:
“For generations, most college-bound Americans paid reasonable fees to attend publicly financed state universities.
But the bedrock of that system is fracturing as cash-strapped states slash funding to these schools just as attendance has soared. Places like Ohio State, Penn State and the University of Michigan now receive less than 7 percent of their budgets from state appropriations.
As a result, public universities — which historically have graduated the majority of U.S. college students — are eliminating programs, raising tuition and accepting more out-of-state students, who typically pay significantly higher rates.
The upshot of it all? Students face greater competition for admission, significantly higher tuition bills and bigger debt loads upon graduation.”