The First Days of President Obama — Deep freeze creates hope


Staff Reporter

Last Tuesday was an exciting day for many college students. In the annual State of the State address, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm asked public universities and community colleges to freeze tuition costs for the 2009-10 school year. As one of the thousands of students the ‘freeze’ would benefit, I can’t help but wonder, what’s the downside to such a simple concept?

In the past several years, OU has seen an average five percent increase in tuition per year in order to keep up with rising operating costs. During the next academic year, it is extremely unlikely that inflation will halt simply because Granholm doesn’t address it. Although the freeze may work as a temporary measure, college tuition hikes have outpaced actual earnings in the past ten years, making it more difficult for the middle –class to afford a college education.

Under Granholm’s proposal, universities and community colleges that freeze their tuition will be offered more funding under the recently passed federal stimulus package. About $6 billion of the bailout money is expected to go to secondary education, but there is (as of now) no system of apportionment designed to equally distribute the money. Accordingly, Granholm was not able to say how much money would be given to each school, however, it is doubtful that each school will receive enough to make up for the loss of tuition money.

Although I would love to experience the “freeze” on tuition costs, I believe the idea will be vetoed by state legislature once Granholm’s official state budget is submitted on Feb. 12. There are simply not enough funds available to cover the loss of money each school will experience if they keep tuition costs the same.