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Opinion

Readers React: A liberal arts college president opposes free tuition. Big surprise

UCLA FANS
UCLA students on campus in 2006.
(Matt Sayles / Associated Press)

To the editor: It’s not surprising that the president of a small liberal arts college in Michigan that charges $41,138 tuition per year would be opposed to the idea of free college tuition.

What is surprising is that the Los Angeles Times would publish such a biased piece from an out-of-state author whose supposed concern for addressing college affordability is not reflected in his own practices at Alma College.

In states where community college is tuition-free, the benefits to low- and middle-income families are clear. They have brought more federal dollars in support of higher education into their states through a focus on completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for Pell Grants, increased post-secondary enrollment, and in Tennessee, a double-digit decrease in student loan applications.

I look forward to the California Legislature passing and Gov. Gavin Newsom signing AB 2, which will make two years of community college tuition-free for full-time, first-time high school graduates.

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Morley Winograd, Arcadia

The writer is president of the Campaign for Free College Tuition.

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To the editor: Cost of living is the same, whether one attends a community college or a university. The difference is a few thousand dollars in tuition versus tens of thousands of dollars.

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In 1995, UC Santa Barbara tuition was about $1,500 per year. The student population was about 20,000; now, it is about 25,000. Adding those 5,000 students was done at enormous cost, reflected in the skyrocketing tuition increase. But such are the times, and there are numerous pluses as well as the minuses.

The immediate answer is to have students commute to school from home, whereas the longer term answer, I’m sorry to say, is for parents to have fewer children and make a lot more money.

Arthur D. Wahl, Port Hueneme

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