My (ex)father-in-law graduated from Eastman in (I think) 1937. Tuition was $650. My brother matriculated at the River Campus in 1958. I think tuition was $950, a 2.1% rate of increase. By the time I graduated in 1965, I believe tuition was perhaps $1,350, and scheduled to go to $1,500 the following year. That is a 6.7% rate of increase from 1958 to the 1965-66 academic year. And now the University wants to increase tuition to $28,250, which represents a 7.8% rate of increase, compounded, for the last 39 years? American higher education is nuts.
It is totally unacceptable for the cost of higher education to rise at a rate which persistently outpaces inflation, currently running at 2% per annum. It is also suicidal. Perhaps Harvard and Stanford (from which I also received a degree) can get away with this, but Rochester cannot. Despite its excellent educational curriculum, Rochester can be replaced by a computer and distributed education. SUNY Buffalo is certainly its educational equal, at far lesser cost.
The reason this is allowed to go on, of course, is that so few people pay the list price, tuition assistance of some sort establishes the real price for most people, and the tuition list price becomes a “marker” establishing an institution’s selectivity and ranking. But even with scholarship or tutition assistance, the middle class is being priced out of the private sector in higher education, and choosing public education in its stead. It’s a pity. UR would have so much to offer if it were more affordable.
Chris Wyser-PratteAB, ’65Editor-in-Chief,Campus Times, 1964-65