Every student in a land-grant college is now "subsidized about $1000 a year irrespective of need or merit," said Seymour E. Harris '20, Chairman of the Economics Department, in a letter to the New York Times yesterday. Harris declared that "this tradition is outmoded," and suggested that "the system be made genuinely democratic."
The first step, said Harris, is to double tuitions in all colleges, and spread the total cost over a 20 to 60 year period. "If the colleges expect to get a fair share of the consumer dollar, they must exploit the credit mechanism," he stated last night.
If tuitions were doubled, state and local governments could "increase their tuition receipts by $2 to $3 million," and use most of this money for scholarships, "thus helping the genuinely poor, able and well-motivated boy," Harris said.
The economist charged that the landgrant colleges "seem to want not only a virtual monopoly of state and local tax power but also of Federal tax money." Although Harris does not oppose "some increase in Federal aid," he noted that "the Federal Government has serious responsibilities that cannot be otherwise financed," whereas tuition can be financed in other ways.