As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov. 5),
the University of Rochester is, like many other institutions, having a
problem - luring students to one of the most expensive campuses in the
country. An education at Rochester (fees and tuition) comes with a lofty
price tag of $18,260.

According to the article, the exorbitant price of the school has forced
the administration to give a $5,000 discount to New York residents. Of the
4,500 students that attend the University of Rochester, only 45 percent are
New York state residents and 70 percent of those receive financial aid.
According to the article, the financial aid award is about $11,000.

Apparently, the tuition break is an attempt to lure New York residents
who could use the tuition discount but can still pay the balance of their
education bill without having to turn to financial aid.

Some administrators in the article blamed much of Rochester's problem on
direct competition with the State University of New York, which has been
very successful in recruiting students who do not qualify for financial
aid. Due in large part to its price tag for fees and tuition totaling a
mere $2,900. According to the article, only 13 percent of students accepted
to both institutions attend Rochester.

SUNY administration officials are understandably skeptical of the plan
and likened the discount to that of a car dealership that inflates prices
only to lower them in order to attract bargain hunters.

There has been a lot of talk recently about the increasing costs of
higher education. Rifle through any periodical study about colleges and
institutions (which permeate toward the end of fall and into the spring)
and check the prices of the highly regarded, and not so highly regarded,
institutions. Take a closer look at some of the smaller liberal arts
colleges, particularly in the Northeast. It makes one wonder why anyone
would complain about the tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee.

Granted, one could question how some of that money is spent, but by and
large UT's tuition and fees are very competitive. In fact, UT has received
some publicity lately as one of the best educational values in the

Yes, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission voted to recommend
an increase in tuition and fees which was later approved by the Board of
Trustees - but the increase was reasonable (4 percent), translating into an
average increase of about $70. An increase that generated millions in extra
revenue for the university system. The average in-state UT student will
pay tuition and fees amounting to about $1,800. The students still only
finance about 38 percent their own education, which is technically against
higher education policy in the Southeast.

Higher education is an expensive venture, but if one would shop around -
he or she would see that we really do have a bargain at UT.