Let the rich pay for tuition
The pattern of income distribution is such that only about a fifth of the entire working population has incomes above the present cut-off point for paying taxes — Rs 1.8 lakh a year. So a large majority of those who go to college — private or public — belong to the top 20 per cent of the income distribution. Recall that one needs to graduate from high school in order to attend college. And despite all the freebies, only about 10-12 per cent of the college-going-age cohort goes to college in India. This is about half the international average, with both China and Brazil close to this average of 25 per cent.
This India gap is rapidly becoming less as more and more people enter high school and a greater fraction of them graduate. Where are the resources to finance this ever-widening pool? There aren’t — but by increasing fees for the top half of university entrants, more of the “bottom of the top 20 per cent” can aspire that their kids go to college.
Some idea of the magnitude of the extra subsidy (over and above that received by the
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