Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2014/07/25

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Subject: [Leica] Cheap college tuition
From: lrzeitlin at (lrzeitlin at
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:16:07 -0400 (EDT)

Chris is right about the variability of college tuition charges. Many 
public colleges in the US and Europe have drastically reduced tuitions 
for local citizens or permanent residents. When I started working at 
the City College of NY in 1963, tuition for undergraduates was free, 
for graduate students, a pittance. Many Asian students were enrolled in 
my graduate classes because their tuition was a tiny fraction of what 
they could be expected to pay at home. On graduation they returned home 
bearing the prestige of a foreign degree paid for by the citizens of 
New York. My wife attended UCLA for about $80 a semester. My kids went 
to Cornell, an Ivy League college, and were heavily subsidized by the 
state. Their tuition was half that of an out of state student. Up until 
a couple of years ago you could even learn photography at the Pratt 
Institute or at Cooper Union college for free. It's not free anymore 
but the charge is negligible at most community colleges.

The situation was similar in the UK. Tuition for college was low for 
citizens but  much higher for foreigners. When a reasonable tuition was 
imposed for locals a few years ago there were student riots. I believe 
that in Scotland, at least until recently, tuition was still free.

All this was predicated upon three things. College attendance was far 
lower than it is today. Not every high school graduate was deemed fit 
to go to college. A high school diploma was considered the end point 
for most education. College degrees were not essential for many 
careers. Prior to 1900 one could practice as a doctor or lawyer in many 
parts of the US without attending a medical or law school. Second, 
education was considered a positive good and, at least in the US, was 
mandated by state law. Most states required children to attend a free 
public school until the age of 20 or they completed high school. 
Finally, in a largely immigrant society, parents aspired for better 
things for their children and were willing to subsidize college 
education out of general tax revenues.

Of course when I said "recently," I meant recently for me. That's any 
time within the last 50 years. Time passes quickly. It's a pisser 
growing old.
Larry Z

Replies: Reply from gwpics at (Gerry Walden) ([Leica] Cheap college tuition)