“[The] University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proposing a new tuition structure to allow it to charge engineering students significantly more for a bachelor’s degree than it charges English majors. … According to research by Glen Nelson, senior vice president of finance and administration for the Arizona Board of Regents, only five institutions used the practice for undergraduate students before 1988. As of this year, 57 percent of 162 public research institutions did so, including the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.”
This strikes me as pretty silly. Subsidizing groups of study (since I assume they will not adjust the teacher salaries to fit this model) will only yield a distortion in the number of people studying certain topics. The sciences and engineering majors may technically use more dollars for materials and space, but they also receive research and development grants also help run these departments. Though they will raise some money for now, these schools will attract less talent and will see their grant money start to deplete.
The way I see it now, the system actually works pretty well…. I mean, with the whole “everyone pays the same thing.” (After all, private four year colleges increase tuition prices by more than two dollars for every dollar increase in Pell Grants, and public colleges increase theirs by .97 for every dollar increase. From 1979 to the present day, college tuition has increased in price by roughly 160%, while the average median family income has increased by 10%.)