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Editorial: State must halt slide in support for higher ed

UNCIn case you missed it over the weekend, the Greensboro News & Record posted a good editorial on North Carolina’s gradually declining commitment to its colleges and universities. As the editorial rightly noted, the state has been reduced to charging higher tuition of some students in order to generate funds to subsidize tuition for those who can’t afford it.

The UNC Board of Governors confronted a tuition dilemma and didn’t solve it. It can’t. The problem is this:

* Raising tuition leaves more students who can’t afford to pay.
* This calls for greater expenditures for financial aid.
* Which requires more money.
* Tuition is one source of money.
* So there’s more pressure to raise tuition.

Of course, as the editorial also notes, the real solution to funding higher education adequately and keeping it within the constitutional mandate of being “as free as practicable” for everyone lies with state policymakers and taxpayers stepping up and doing their part:

Yet, higher education isn’t free. The taxpayers subsidize low tuition. Lately, though, taxpayers have been covering a declining share, while students and their families are paying more.

That trend must stop. Even capped at 5 percent, future tuition increases will price more young people out of our universities — or put more in need of financial aid.

The Board of Governors can’t resolve the dilemma without more support from the state.

Amen. Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

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