Graduate Students and Tuition


Dave Fletcher comments on the Utah Legislatures fixation on out of state graduate students:

Marginal Cost of Goods. The Utah legislature's executive appropriations committee spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the cost associated with tuition waivers for graduate students at Utah's two research institutions (University of Utah and Utah State University).  These graduate students, most of whom are teaching assistants or research assistants are granted in-state tuition.  Legislators are concerned that the State is paying too much to support out-of-state students.  

He continues with some good comments on the marginal cost of admitting new students.  My take is slightly different:  Here are a bunch of very bright people who are willing to come to our state and work for almost nothing in a university research program.  Basic research and number of patents are one of the very best predictors of economic prosperity for a country (and probably a state as well).   We ought to let them come here for free!  The fact that we're able to take back almost all the trifling amount of money we pay them as research assistants in fees and tuition is amazing.