« Reducing the GST again would be stupider, stupider, stupider, stupider | Main | Recent oil price movements in currencies other than the USD »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451688169e200e54f12b5448834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How increasing tuition fees can increase university participation rates:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sometimes, I wish the Canadian Federation of Students would be more receptive to (or at least acknowledge) such arguments. Maybe I wouldn't have scoffed at them so much when I was an undergrad. (I still do, as a grad student.)

As a student, I don't oppose raising tuition, but it does cause me to apply for more scholarships and bursaries. I just don't want to see those go away.

One paragraph I don't understand:
"Eliminating tuition fees would increase university enrollments, but at the cost of an additional $8500 for each of the 17,993 new students... more than 90% of those extra expenditures would be going to the 230,000 students who were attending university anyway"

And one other thing I wonder about:
What about the cost and difficulty of means-testing. Many public programs have been made universal because means testing is divisive/introduces bad incentives/is therefore difficult to administer fairly. Is this an issue with PSE funding if you take the route of increasing fees for those who can pay and handing out the extra to those who need it?

The first point refers to the fact that tuition would be free for everyone, not just the 18,000 students who would be taking advantage of lower tuition fees and deciding to go to university. For the 230,000 students who were already going to university, free tuition is free money. Although it certainly affects their welfare, it doesn't change their behaviour.

And I emphatically reject any claim (eta: I realise you didn't make it, but I've heard it often enough to make it a sore point for me) to the effect that the costs of figuring out which students are in financial difficulty are so big that it's cheaper and more efficient to give money to rich kids who don't need it than to determine who does. This is not a hard problem; think of the GST credit, the Child Tax Credit and any number of programs that are designed to help those with low incomes. Identifying which families are poor is the least of our problems.

Ah, I see what you mean. Thanks.

The fact that it would be free for everyone is a sociopolitical feature, not a bug.

Giving free money to rich kids who don't need it is a bad sociopolitical feature.

No, it isn't. If it increases the political likelihood that the program will be retained, then it's a positive sociopolitical feature. That's one of the benefits of a middle-class entitlement. You don't want it to be like welfare, which becomes an easy political target, since most people don't think they'll ever use it.

Free tuition is a regressive policy.

I can understand median-voter model arguments to the effect that progressives should accept a policy that is less progressive than they would have otherwise liked in order to secure broad support. I don't understand why progressives should use this argument to support policies that are actually regressive.

I'm dubious about your claims that student voter participation is the reason why tuition subsidies survive. I'm also largely in agreement with Travis Fast on the second thread about the politics of the situation, and appreciate his mention of potential fixes to the regressivity you point out.

I can understand median-voter model arguments to the effect that progressives should accept a policy that is less progressive than they would have otherwise liked in order to secure broad support. I don't understand why progressives should use this argument to support policies that are actually regressive.

I'd be more willing to agree with you if you could present an argument that involves the long-term economic advantages of getting an education, the class flattening effect, etc, etc.

The advantages for broadening access to PSE are pretty clear, don't you think? And isn't it equally clear that my preoccupation is to drag in as many credit-constrained kids into the system as possible? If that means that rich kids have to pay more, well, that's a consequence I'm willing to live with.

The advantages for broadening access to PSE are pretty clear, don't you think? And isn't it equally clear that my preoccupation is to drag in as many credit-constrained kids into the system as possible? If that means that rich kids have to pay more, well, that's a consequence I'm willing to live with.

But we're back to the original question. Will programs targeted to credit-constrained kids survive the end of higher-income subsidies?

Medical tuition has been largely deregulated in Ontario. Anecdotal evidence tells me that the income bracket has gone up. I wonder if anyone has done a study on it.

You're focusing on the wrong coalition. Right now, the winners from free tuition start at the top of the income distribution and stop somewhere below the median. Low-income households are getting a disproportionately small and smaller share of the PSE budget.

I think that's what's often missed is that tuition is not the largest cost of post-secondary education. Hell, Quebec students shell out about the same for books as they will for tuition with rates as they are. The cost of living while going to school (or to look at it another way, the foregone income) is far greater -- and cheap tuition doesn't address this.

The problem with tuition cuts is not just that they're regrassive, as Stephen has explained, but that their effects are piddling in the real world. A five-percent cut will give the rich student a might or two at the bar, but won't come close to closing the four-figure gaps that would-be students from poor families face. Cutting tuition in Canada means one end of the income spectrum gets a break it doesn't need, while the other gets a break it can't use.

Tuition in B.C. nearly doubled between 2001-02 and 2004-05, but headcounts actually went up because schools added more capacity during those years. Headcounts have fallen by a few thousand since, but that may be due to a hotter job market; tuition has grown at CPI during that time. Where the B.C. government fell down was that it didn't offer more generous financial aid for students who needed it -- aid limits increased by only a few hundred a year for single students, and undergrad grants for less well-off students were eliminated. That's the other side of the argument for increasing tuition -- you increase help for those who need it.

I still think the system that Australia used (at least for a while) of a graduate tax is a good solution. Like Tom S. I'm wary of means tests (mainly because they tend to produce income brackets with perverse incentives) and fail to cover all individual circumstances (family black sheep for instance, or girls in some families). Surely the issue of progressivity (as you have argued elsewhere) is a question for the entire system, not just education.

Does it not make sense that where there is a bigger financial commitment, there will be a better chance of students actually delivering better performances?

Regards

Martin

GOOD DAY,
Please i wish to appply for the canadian free tuition in to the university but did not understand where actually, am from cameroon and will really love if you could help me with the link thaks for concern.
THANKS.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

    WWW
    worthwhile.typepad.com
Blog powered by Typepad