Tuition and Fees by Any Other Name . . .
. . . would still bust the bank for most people. But Danielle Allen
makes a good case that there is a desperate need for clarity about the real cost of a college education if we ever mean to make progress in the perpetual hike and outrage saga. She makes the point that there is a vast difference between what she calls "sticker price" and the actual costs to most students. But something missing from the piece, in my view, is a recognition that much of the "outrage" from students and parents has less to do with false perceptions about costs than it does with false perceptions, going in, about value. That is to say, they think that what they are agreeing to pay for is more valuable than it generally ends up being, in fact. It's hard to argue against the notion that students are over-paying when the product is so very often . . . um, well, over-rated. Still, clarity is always to be appreciated in any debate--and in this debate Allen offers some for at least one part of the discussion.
3:52 PM / December 19, 2010