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http://www.sina.com.cn 2006/06/05 15:17  新东方


  After years of sharp increases, some colleges are trying to ease the burden on middle-class families

  THESE HAVE BEEN THE ,BEST OF TIMES for many of the nation’s top universit
ies-and the worst of times for middle income families struggling to afford them. Thanks to a robust stock market, school endowments have ballooned. Yet few institutions have held down steep increases in tuition. But that may be changing.

  Williams College, a prestigious liberal arts school in Massachusetts, announced last month that for the first time in 46 years, its tuition would remain steady at $31,520. Last week students at Princeton University learned that their annual $31,599 tuition, room and board will rise just 3.3%-the smallest hike in 30 years.

  These shows of restraint may signal a turnaround from the whopping tuition increases of recent years, as some schools now consider using their endowments to control price hikes. Since 1980, college costs have more than doubled, after adjustment for inflation, while the median income of families with college-age children has increased only 12%. Last year tuition rose an average of 4.6%, the lowest jump in 12 years-but still more than twice the rate of inflation. "Remaining affordable for middle-class parents is the 800-lb. gorilla facing colleges and universities," says Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education in Washington.

  Williams held its tuition flat by paying more of its bills with the investment profits on its $1.1 billion endowment and with contributions from alumni. But college officials who oppose using endowments to freeze tuition say the students most vulnerable to hikes are not affected by them. "If we were to keep tuition constant, would it change the situation here for students in need?" asks Princeton president Harold Shapiro. "No, because their tuition is fully covered." The school plans to boost scholarships to needy students this year as much as $2,250 a person. To be sure, there is no shortage of families who can afford elite institutions. Despite annual tuition hikes at Harvard, its applicant pool swelled from 13,029 in 1992 to 18,167 last year. Families that equate price with quality have allowed costs at elite schools to be on "autopilot," says Gordon Winston, an economist at Williams College. Most wealthy families can afford the high tuitions, and poor families get financial aid, but middle-income families get squeezed-and even squeezed out.

  One reason colleges are curbing tuition increases is to attract those middle-income students. Rice University in Houston uses its $3 billion endowment to guarantee that tuition for sophomores, juniors and seniors will not leap ahead of the consumer price index. Another reason for restraint is concern that public outrage will prompt government intervention. Congress is already tackling the issue during two days of hearings this week, and President Clinton recently proposed a $31 billion package to make higher education more affordable. Now if only someone could do something about campus parking.

  Time; 02/14/2000, Vol. 155 Issue 6, p70, 2/3p, 1c



  1.We learn from the beginning of the passage that college tuition _______________.

  [A] has become a heavy burden on many middle income families with college-age children

  [B] has ballooned due to a robust stock market

  [C] has brought more endowments to the top universities

  [D] has increased relatively slowly in the past few years

  2.Speaking of college cost, the author implies that ___________________.

  [A] it is a big challenge facing colleges and universities

  [B] it has increased twice as much as the median income of families in the past 2 decades

  [C] changes are taking place as schools are looking for sources to control it

  [D] it will not stop increasing until parents are unaffordable

  3.In the view of Harold Shapiro, __________________________.

  [A] it’s unnecessary to control tuition increases because even needy students can pay their tuition

  [B] students in need can not benefit much from the efforts of keeping tuition constant

  [C] schools should provide more scholarships to students instead of cutting down tuition

  [D] using endowments to freeze tuition will only add to student’ economic burden

  4.The phrase “800-lb gorilla” (line 6, paragraph 3) most probably means _____________.

  [A] big, heavy animal

  [B] urgent issue

  [C] tough problem

  [D] unwanted situation

  5.We learn from the last paragraph that _______________.

  [A] tuition in Rice University has dropped

  [B] government will take measures to punish schools that allow their tuition to increase steeply

  [C] the public will urge government to tackle tuition increase if schools can not handle it

  [D] there will be more middle-income students on college campus if tuition can be curbed

  答案:A C B C D




  robust: [rE5bQst] adj. 健康和有力的;精力充沛的

  endowment: [in5daumEnt] n. 资助,捐赠

  balloon: [bE5lu:n] v. 激增,飞涨迅速增长或上升

  hike: [haik] n. 突然的或急剧的上升、上涨、增加

  restraint: [ris5treint] n. 抑制, 制止

  turnaround: [`t\:nE9raJnd] n. 转变, 转向, (经济, 营业等的)突然好转

  whopping: [5(h)wCpiN] adj. 巨大的, 庞大的

  median: [5mi:djEn] adj. 中间的,位于中间的

  gorilla: [^E5rilE] n. 大猩猩

  alumni: [E5lQmni] n. 校友

  vulnerable:[5vQlnErEb(E)l] adj. 易受伤害的;易受影响的

  boost: [bu:st] v. 增进;改善

  pool: [pu:l]] n. 集中备用的物资(如钱、 物、工人等)

  swell: [swel] v. 增加,增大

  equate: [i5kweit] v. (常与to, with连用)使相等

  autopilot: [5C:tEpailEt] v. 自动驾驶仪; 自动操舵装置

  squeeze: [skwi:z] v. 压榨, 挤, 挤榨

  curb: [kE:b] v. 抑制;控制

  outrage: [5autreidV] n. 愤慨;(由暴力或冒犯而引起的)愤怒

  prompt: [prCmpt] v. 鼓动, 促使

  package: [5pAkidV] n. 建议,提议


  1. But college officials who oppose using endowments to freeze tuition say the students most vulnerable to hikes are not affected by them.

  主体句式:college officials say…

  结构分析:这是一个复杂句,主语college officials带有一个定语从句。本句难点是vulnerable这个词。“vulnerable”的意思是“易受攻击的”。


  2. Families that equate price with quality have allowed costs at elite schools to be on "autopilot," says Gordon Winston, an economist at Williams College.

  主体句式:Gordon Winston says …

  结构分析:本句整体结构为倒装结构,这种结构常见于引述句,特别是主语较长的引述句。在这个句子里,主语带了一个同位语,因而比较长,如果按照正常语序就会造成语意连接不紧密地情况。says的宾语是families… “autopilot”,其中families还带有一个that引导的定语从句。



  1. 答案为A,属事实细节题。从第一段第一句话 “the worst of times for middle income families struggling to afford them”可以看出,高校学费已经令很多家中等收入家庭不堪重负。

  2. 答案为C,属推理判断题。在文章第一段末写道:But that may be changing。第二段接着举例说明高校如何采取措施平抑学费。第三段第一句又说这些抑制学费的措施也许是最近几年学费暴涨的形势turnaround的迹象,由此可见学校正积极寻找资金来源控制学费,学费问题正在发生变化。

  3. 答案为B,属事实细节题。文中第四段引用Shapiro的话说真正困难的学生并不会因为学费保持稳定其境况就发生改变,因为学生的学费都是足额支付的。也就是说这些学生不会从中受益。

  4. 答案为C,属推理判断题。“gorilla”本意为“大猩猩”,根据上下文,中等收入家庭的收入增幅远远小于学费的增幅,因而各大高校都面临着如何使中等收入家庭付得起学费这样一个“800-1b gorilla”,下文又介绍了各高校如何采取措施平抑学费,可见这里“800-1b gorilla”是一个暗喻,指“棘手的问题”。

  5. 答案为D,属推理判断题。文章最后一段解释了高校平抑学费的原因之一就是想要吸引更多来自中等收入家庭的孩子。最末一具有说“现在要是有人能够解决以下校园停车问题就好了”,暗示校园有可能会有很多学生。不难理解,如果学费能够被平抑,会有更多来自中等收入家庭的孩子。








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