College Guide


December 03, 2011 12:00 PM “State” University

By Daniel Luzer

I often complain about various things state universities do. They hike tuition when times are tough, they micromanage professors, they overspend on administration and facilities.

But something else they do, often, is perhaps much worse, and begins to undermine the very nature of the institutions.

According to an article by Andrew Rotherham at Time:

…Public universities [are] recruiting more and more out-of-state students, who often pay as much as three times what in-state residents do for the privilege of attending the same institution.
While admissions officers sometimes dress up their reasons for recruiting out-of-staters (“geographic diversity,” anyone?), the real reason is money. University officials will privately acknowledge the integral role out-of-state tuition plays in making ends meet. In a survey released in September by Inside Higher Education, half of the admissions officers at big state schools reported substantially increasing their focus on recruiting out-of-state student during the past year. …A Wall Street Journal report in July… showed eight states (Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming) already get more than 40 percent of their students from out of state. At the University of Vermont, it’s 67 percent.

It’s actually a great way for state universities to meet costs. For out-of-state students, attending a public college in another state is often dramatically cheaper than attending a private school. The trouble is that the more lucrative out of state students a school recruits, the fewer spots are available for state residents. And it’s their university.

Beyond that, it also allows college to hike tuition for in-state students. Look at the good deal they’re getting compared to students from out of state, who are contributing so much more, the universities can argue.

They’re absolutely right, of course, but it keeps affordable higher education even further away from residents from relatively modest families, those the state universities ostensibly exist to serve.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Anonymous on December 03, 2011 1:17 PM:

    The state universities also bring in many many many thousands of foreign students. These students often cheat to pass the entrance qualifications. There is a huge system of cheating in China to qualify students for state universities in the US. The University of Illinois is simply overrun with chinese, most of whom are unable to speak english, and who hate Americans. How do I know? My daughter was in a cross-cultural dorm for freshman year. She lived with a chinese girl. We had her to our house for Thanksgiving, etc. By the end of the year, ALL the chinese students in the dorm were EXCLUSIVELY associating with Chinese. The chinese are very arrogant, and hate Koreans, Japanese and others from the Far East. they have been given a steady diet of "chinese superiority" in China, and it shows. All the Americans were also contemptuous of the Chinese.

    Recently, NPR ran a series on the admissions industry in China. They fake test scores, especially on the TOEFL. They fake letters of recommendation. They fake transcripts.

    Why do universities accept these students, which in turn means they have fewer in-state students? MONEY, again. Foreign students pay TOP DOLLAR, no scholarships, no nothing.

    It is however very unfair to instate students. It used to be that ALL Illinois residents were guaranteed admission to U of I, and had to pass Freshman Chem and Freshman Rhetoric to stay in. Today, only about 5% of Illinois students are even accepted.

    This is, in fact, a violation of the CHARTER of many of these universities. Many of them are LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITIES, and they are BY CHARTER OBLIGATED to TRAIN the RESIDENTS OF THE STATE. That is WHY they were granted the land - to serve the people of the state. Today, they do not serve the people of their states, but rather the high-dollar out-of-state and out-of-country students who have displaced in-state students.

  • Anonymous on December 07, 2011 11:37 AM:

    I agree with anonymous (12/3). It's quite clear that because some Chinese students cheated on their tests, all of them do. Also, it's quite clear that all American students cheat on their SATs, since some of them do. Undoubtedly anonymous has heard of that scandal about Long Island students cheating on their SATs.

    I also admire anonymous' psychic abilities, which are no doubt how s/he is able to determine that all Chinese students are arrogant and do not associate with non-Chinese. I have also noticed that many white students also associate almost exclusively with other white students. Undoubtedly the white students are also completely racist.

    Finally, I would like to thank anonymous for volunteering to pay higher taxes and tuition. After all, out-of-state and foreign students pay full freight and help subsidize the in-state students. Once those students have been eliminated from the state university, the in-state folks will have to pay more. But never fear, because anonymous is willing to shoulder the burden!