Columnist Daniel Akst correctly documents many of the ills of higher education -- for-profit and nonprofit ["U.S. higher ed system needs some schooling," Opinion, Aug. 13].

He writes that colleges are charging more and teaching less than decades ago. Also, many students show no improvement from the college experience.

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It is relevant that prices go up when there is more (government) money chasing the same amount of a product. It's surprising that Akst does not make the small leap to acknowledging that this happened under the U.S. Department of Education. He does, however, note the main accomplishment of this unnamed co-conspirator: "success at democratizing college."

We can all agree that democratizing the college experience is a fine goal, but not at the expense of all the ills that Akst lists. The idea should be to raise everyone up, not to lower the standards.

William A. Lau, Kings Park