Tuition too costly for students

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

I do not know how to respond upon learning that Carnegie Mellon University is touting a percentage increase of “only” 4 percent in tuition for the 2012–13 school year, which will bring the tariff to an astounding $44,880 per annum. “Sticker shock” sets in for those of us who are old enough to remember college tuition of the “dark ages” of the 20th century.

I attended Carnegie Mellon after graduating from high school in 1974. The tuition for the year at that time was $2,950. My late mother, piano performer and teacher Gloria Siegle Spiegler, attended Carnegie Tech from 1939 to 1943. When she began this wonderful period of her youth, the tuition was $150 per semester. 2012–13 tuition is more than 15 times that of 1974. If the prices of all essential commodities and services had increased by that amount, the American people could not afford to live.

I understand that most CMU students receive some type of financial aid, but that does not negate the fact that a quality college education is generally unaffordable. One must be fabulously wealthy to pay “sticker price” to attend Carnegie Mellon University.

It would be interesting to learn what changes would be made in administrator and employee compensation and other lavish university expenditures if an independent efficiency expert examined the ledger with an eye toward cutting fat.
Oren M. Spiegler