North Central College President Harold R. Wilde reflects on his tenure as president and addresses misconceptions about topical issues in higher education in a piece published by Zocalo Public Square.
On the topic of tuition costs, Wilde points out that financial aid support has skyrocketed in recent years, outpacing tuition increases in some cases: "In reality, though, at most colleges, the official price has no more relation to what you really pay than does the sticker price on a used car."
On graduation and retention rates, Wilde writes, "Federal policy makers focusing on degree completion should ignore the elite schools and recognize that for many—if not most—institutions, transfers in and out may be a healthy fact of life in a free marketplace for higher education."
Wilde also touts the contributions to scientific community by graduates of smaller liberal arts colleges, saying, "The emphasis of foundations, corporations, and the federal government on funding graduate science programs ignores the seed-corn role of small colleges in keeping American science competitive."
Zócalo Public Square, a project of the Center for Social Cohesion, is a living magazine, an innovative blend of on-the-ground events and on-line journalism, that connects people to ideas and to each other in an open, accessible, non-partisan and broad-minded spirit.