Duncan On Rising Tuition Costs: Students Will ‘Vote With Their Feet’

By , March 31, 2010 9:18 pm

While the White House claims that the president secured a major education reform victory Tuesday by signing into law policy that limits the role of private lenders and increases the funds for Pell Grants, critics contend that it is just an incremental approach. In particular, some education advocates are concerned that skyrocketing tuition costs at higher-education institutions will make any bump in Pell Grants effectively moot.

Asked about these critiques, top aides to the president acknowledged the need for supplemental reforms; though with the jump in grants, they argue, community colleges would be effectively free for many students. But both Education Secretary Arne Duncan and top domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes emphasized in a joint interview with Huffington Post that the ultimate remedy for lowering tuition is to simply make the education system more open and competitive.

“You’re correct, some universities are running up tuition increases far above the rate of inflation,” Duncan said. “But you see other universities doing some really creative things. You see some universities going to three-year programs, basically taking out of their expenses. You see other universities going to no-frills campuses.”

“And so students and parents are very, very smart,” he added. “They're sophisticated. They're going to vote with their feet, they're going to go where they can get a great education but getting the good value along with that. And folks that don't contain cost, I think, frankly are going to lose market share, lose competitive advantage.”

via Duncan On Rising Tuition Costs: Students Will ‘Vote With Their Feet’.

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