More state universities are trying to lure out-of-state students with lower tuition, a trend that critics say goes against the very purpose of such institutions, the New York Times reports. The schools often do it to make up for shrinking support from their own states, but some worry that universities, funded by taxpayers, will squeeze out local students.
Schools from California to Tennessee have embraced the practice, and the University of Wisconsin started a firestorm with it in 2006. “We should tip the scales toward home-grown resources, rather than cutting tuition for out-of-staters,” said a state senator there. Universities argue that nonresidents help pay for local kids, but competing for these profit-makers on price “is a very unique philosophical shift,” one Wisconsin chancellor admits.