Local college tuition may be the new barometer of social and economic promise. The Des Moines Register reports that University of Nebraska/Omaha is lowering the cost of college by half for students across the state line in three nearby Iowa counties. The move makes going to UNO cost about the same for residents of Pottawattamie, Mills and Harrison counties as attending college in Iowa.

Concerned about decreasing numbers of local young people, more and more colleges in the Midwest are cutting rates for out of state students or offering reciprocal deals with universities in other states (Thus far, Iowa’s universities have mainted healthy numbers of out of state applicatants without such deals). Meanwhile, the regents of University of Texas/Austin are asking for two more tuition increases, 2008-2010. Ralph Haurwitz of the Austin American-Statesman reports that if approved “the plan would amount to a 90 percent increase” in tuition since 2003. Austin is already attracting more college-educated young adults that most cities in the U.S.

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