Tuition inflation has always been a subject that has fascinated me. How can our political system stand idly by as our public universities increase tuition at double the rate of inflation? How could a trend that is so harmful to the middle-class (I'm not even talking working class nobody cares about them) stand stronger against the will of the people than even the most powerful Wall Street banks?
What is more fascinating is that nobody seems to have a definitive explanation for why students have to pay more and more every year. Liberals blame declining state support, while conservatives tend to place the blame on wasteful administration and high professor salaries.
All of these points inevitably show up in every discussion of the issue, in addition to an unavoidable observation about campus life these days: made it impossible for public universities to stay out of the rat-race to attract out-of-state students. In order to impress donors and prospective students, universities feel the need to constantly build big, expensive facilities and offer amenities that students should by no means expect.
I could say that we need more state funding to lower tuition, but somehow that ends up getting absorbed into the ongoing competition with other elite schools. The best thing for state governments to do is implement tuition freezes and force universities to evaluate their priorities.