From the Times this morning:
Taxpayer support for public universities, measured per student, has plunged more precipitously since 2001 than at any time in two decades, and several university presidents are calling the decline a de facto privatization of the institutions that played a crucial role in the creation of the American middle class.
It's not like we have to wonder what a fully private higher education system would be like. For the rich: luxury brand names like Swarthmore or St. John's College, at luxury prices:
$27, 516/yr average in 2004. Yes, there's loans and yes, there's scholarships for the lucky few strivers. For everyone else: Shady, Scandal-ridden for-profit colleges at a still-steep average price of around $12,000 a year.