Rick Perry's solution for soaring education costs: get public universities to offer 4-year degrees for $10,000 or less. The Texas governor challenged state schools a year ago to create budget programs, and ten have responded—including Angelo State with a $9,974 degree and Texas A&M University-Commerce with a $10,000 degree in "organizational leadership." How can they afford it? By increasing class sizes, granting credits more easily, and sometimes relying on big scholarships, the Wall Street Journal reports.
But the scholarship plan leaves out too many students, critics say, and professors fear that students in low-cost programs will get crappy educations with part-time teachers. An expert at a Texas think tank, however, applauds Perry for spurring universities "to address the college affordability problem." That problem, notes the Journal, stems from states cutting back on funding for higher education. (Possible irony alert: Perry has argued for eliminating the US Department of Education.)