A debate between Dr. Richard Vedder (Ohio University) and Dr. Robert Archibald (College of William and Mary) held at the University of Vermont on March 21, 2012. It runs about 40 minutes in length (20 minutes each), followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A.
In considering the relationship between aid and costs, the debaters found little to agree on.
According to aid opponent Richard Vedder, distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, the explosion in federal aid that began in the 1970s has not only not increased access for low income students, it’s led to rising prices for all, as colleges routinely hiked tuition in response to growing federal largesse.
Not true, said proponent Robert Archibald, chancellor professor of economics at the College of William and Mary, who went second and had the luxury of challenging Vedder’s positions throughout the debate. His research shows aid resulted in greater access for low-income students and lower real costs for all. Without it, colleges would be forced to discount steeply for low-income students and compensate with higher tuition for everyone else.