Free College Tuition Is Not Economically Feasible For State Government
In 1976, the Commonwealth of Virginia established a goal of tuition cost sharing, called the “70/30” plan (Zheng, Hix, & State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 2014). This
70/30 plan meant that the Commonwealth of Virginia was planning to cover 70% of college costs and students would be responsible for the other 30% of college costs. The Commonwealth gave up on the 70/30 plan in the early 1990s because of the economic recession (Zheng et al., 2014).
For the current school year of 2014-2015, the Commonwealth is covering 47% of the cost of higher education and students are responsible for the other 53%—this means that the Commonwealth of
Virginia is covering 23% less of the cost of college than their original goal of 70% (Zheng et al.,
2014). A chart of the cost-sharing data in Virginia can be found below in Figure 1. This figure was developed by looking at historical data from the State Council of Higher Education for
Virginia’s 2014-2015 Tuition and Fees at Virginia’s State-Supported Colleges and Universities…