Why tuition should not be deregulated

UT officials argue that tuition must be deregulated so that they can increase the cost of attending UT in order to match peer institutions, such as UC-Berkeley and UW-Madison. This way, the quality of education at UT will match the demands of the marketplace, they argue. However, this graph shows that by their logic, tuition should actually be DECREASED at UT-Austin.

Top-ranked Public Universities and the Cost of Attendance (2002-2003 Undergraduate Estimates)1

Cost rank University In-state Out-of-state US News Ranking2
1 Penn State U. - U. Park 9,434 18,922 12
2 U. Mich. - Ann Arbor 8-9,000 24-26,000 4
3 UC Irvine 5,875 16,579 13
4 U. of Ill. - Urbana-Champ 5,748 14,352 10
5 UT Austin 5,340 11,446 15
6 College of William and Mary 5,092 19,292 5
7 U. Of Virginia 4,780 19,990 2
8 U. of Wisconsin - Madison 4,470 18,390 8
9 UC Berkeley 4,200 12,396 1
10 UC Davis 4,095 16,104 11
11 UC Santa Barbara 3,988 15,997 14
12 UC San Diego 3,950 16,329 7
13 U of N. Carolina - Chapel Hill 3,826 15,110 6
14 UC Los Angeles 3,680 16,059 3
15 Georgia Institute of Tech. 2,790 13,160 9

1 While UT is ranked 15th of National Doctoral Universities by US News and World Report's America's Best Colleges 2003, it is the 5th most expensive for in-state undergraduate tuition.

2 Out-of-State tuition remains inexpensive, but UT-Austin also has a relatively small number of out-of-state students.

If the marketplace really determined costs, as decided purely by quality of education, UT-Austin would actually have to lower its prices to remain competitive with the ten schools listed above that rank higher and cost less.

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