'Nowadays, higher education is seen as a private good paid for by individuals. This massive shift in public policy largely happened without much debate. A while back when I asked a legislator in Oregon if it was appropriate for students at public colleges to pay $40,000 for four years of college, the response I got was this: “Sure, that’s the price of a new car.”
'What’s notable is that increases in public college tuition have mostly come at the hands of state lawmakers and higher-education leaders who themselves benefited from low tuition rates at state universities when they earned degrees. In most states, tuition decisions have not only come without much debate, but without much of a long-range plan for the future of public higher education: Whom should it serve? Who should pay for it?'