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March 21, 2013

THEIR VIEW: Opinions from other newspapers for March 21

(Continued)

That illustrates the bind in which Indiana University and other state universities find themselves.

More and more young people are attending college because they recognize they need to continue their formal education if they are going to be competitive in the job market.

At the same time, state dollars per individual student are simply not keeping pace. Still, lawmakers and other state officials moan about the expense of higher education and discourage universities from raising tuition.

That formula would not work in even a basic math course.

IU officials often point to the four ways the university can gain revenue: state support, tuition, research grants and philanthropy. IU has had good success with the latter two, but increasing dollars through grants and philanthropy, plus cost efficiencies, are not enough by themselves to offset per-student reductions noted in the study. Utility costs and health care benefits continue to rise as well. Thus, tuition has to increase or quality will suffer.

The study showed this indeed is a national issue. But it also showed the disparity between lower state support and rising tuition is worse in Indiana than many places.

While there are no quick fixes, admitting our problem is worse than other states’ is a place to begin.

— The Herald-Times, Bloomington

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