Should an education at UC Berkeley cost more than one at UC Santa Cruz? Should a student pay $11,000 in tuition at UC Riverside while his friend is billed $16,000 at UCLA?
Leaders of the 10-campus University of California system are considering such questions as they grapple with state budget reductions that already have led to tuition increases, staff layoffs and cuts in class offerings.
Advocates of allowing undergraduate tuition to vary by campus say that the change would raise funds the schools could share and that consumer demand should play a bigger role in setting tuition. But opponents contend that the idea is inherently elitist and could harm the unified nature of the UC system.
I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad idea, but I can foresee many unintended consequences of such a move.