Five Innovative Things the University of California Can Do to Slash Tuition
California Speaker Pérez’ plan for reducing public university tuition is a welcome sign, but doesn’t go nearly far enough. Sacramento should consider more sweeping changes:
1. Expand advanced placement testing
Let students ‘test out’ of any course, or even get a diploma that way.
2. Integrate third-party courses into curricula
For example, video lectures by The Great Courses are better than most brick-and-mortar college courses. A campus library can buy these and students (registered or unregistered) may watch them for free. Testing and grading could be done by local instructors.
3. Institute a Great Books program
Let students get from 1 to 2 years course credit by reading classics.
4. Eliminate or scale down college accreditation
Accreditation for undergrad studies is unnecessary; it’s merely a means by which existing universities and colleges monopolize the market. Remove the costly barrier of accreditation, and communities, churches, etc., can found inexpensive local colleges suitable for many students’ needs. This competition will drive down the tuitions of existing colleges.
5. Limit or eliminate student loans for undergraduates.
This will also force colleges to lower tuition and motivate cost-cutting.