Pay for performance? Try pay for acceptance

It’s harder to get into U.S. community colleges these days, as the newly unemployed seek job training and others felled by higher prices at four-year state schools or private institutions decide they’d rather stay local and pay less. That means longer waiting lists and students shut out of classes they need. So what’s an overtaxed community college to do?

Charge more.

Bristol Community College in Massachusetts will soon allow students to bypass waiting lists if they are willing to pay double the tuition, according to a story on TheBostonChannel. The idea is aimed at healthcare workers and comes as the school is partnering with the for-profit Princeton Review, which is investing in the school. The Review is planning to provide more space for students to take labs and other courses near the school.

The idea is not without some controversy.

According to TheBostonChannel, the head of the state’s community college council has complained that allowing students to pay more goes against the idea of public education.

— Liz Willen

POSTED BY ON April 12, 2010