Over at HA I've expanded on my Slog post yesterday about High Tuition/High Financial Aid, to suggest that lawmakers should only approve Gov. Gregoire's higher education task force's proposal to grant state universities tuition flexibility, if they also impose the following condition:
Give our four-year universities the freedom to set tuition prices as they see fit, but impose a needs tested cap on the net cost to in-state, lower- and middle-income families.
In the end, I couldn’t care less where the sticker price of a UW degree falls in relation to that at comparable public universities, and neither should should students or lawmakers. All that matters is the net cost of that degree in relation to what the student can afford.
The task force has proposed a $1 billion privately funded endowment to "lessen" the impact of rising tuition on lower- and middle-income families, but our paramount objective should be to eliminate this impact. And if the Legislature cannot embrace this philosophy, then tuition flexibility must be rejected out of hand.