9.7.13

CONGESTION PRICING COMES TO COLLEGE.

As predictably as the corn and pumpkins ripen, universities provide fewer spaces in classes than there are students who seek to enroll.  Leave aside for the moment the procrastinator with seniority who doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to register first, and the way electronic mail lowers the cost of sending a sob story to the professor in the hopes of overriding the registration system.  There's a relatively simple way to get those extra bodies in the seats.
Really need to take that econ course? It’s going to cost you. Santa Monica College is rolling out a two-tiered pay system so students who are desperate to get in to a class can gain admittance, if they can pony up the extra cash.
The proposal makes even more sense if some of the extra cash goes directly to the professor.  The college's governing board rejected the plan, on the usual equity-trumps-efficiency grounds.

We have probably not seen the last of such proposals in an environment of differential tuitions for business or engineering, let alone of laboratory fees for computer- or experimental apparatus - intensive classes.

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