Texas fight highlights higher ed culture clash

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Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:16 pm, Tue Mar 25, 2014.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - If colleges were automobiles, the University of Texas at Austin would be a Cadillac: a famous brand, a powerful engine of research and teaching, handsome in appearance. Even the price is comparable: Like one of the luxury car's models, in-state tuition for a four-year degree runs about $40,000.

But in an era of budget-cutting and soaring tuition, is there still a place for "Cadillacs" - elite, public research institutions like Texas, Michigan, California-Berkeley and Virginia that try to compete with the world's best? Or should the focus be on more affordable and efficient options, like the old Chevrolet Bel Air?

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