I read in the morning newspaper that the University System of Georgia is freezing college tuition rates to current levels at its public universities statewide for the 2016-2017 academic year. The legislative session is not over, but it looks to be a done deal.
I asked the internet for some quick data points to see if college tuition rates are being frozen elsewhere.
Sure enough, several state legislatures are weighing bills to freeze college tuition.
This is a big election year, so maybe what is happening is the type of nationwide, coordinated legislative campaign by Republican led legislatures we’ve seen for other issues. The reason can be as simple as what seems to be going on in Wisconsin, which is also entertaining a tuition freeze bill.
Of course, the flip side to freezing college tuition rates, which lessens the cost burden on students, is flat revenue for universities. Which still have rising costs. Adjusting to frozen tuition revenue landscapes is not exactly something universities are able to do very well for the simple reason that they are huge, ungainly operations. Giant ships turn very slowly. Unfortunately, their first impulse in handling fiscal challenges is to reduce what they offer to students.