The argument being made here is that Harvard doesn’t really need the money generated by undergrad tuition.

Stephanie Saul reports at the New York Times.

How Some Would Level the Playing Field: Free Harvard Degrees

Should Harvard be free?

That is the provocative question posed by a slate of candidates running for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, which helps set strategy for the university. They say Harvard makes so much money from its $37.6 billion endowment that it should stop charging tuition to undergraduates.

But they have tied the notion to another, equally provocative question: Does Harvard shortchange Asian-Americans in admissions?

Their argument is that if Harvard were free, more highly qualified students from all backgrounds would apply, and the university would no longer have trouble balancing its class for racial or ethnic diversity — making sure, they say, that Asian-Americans do not lose out.

The slate of five candidates was put together by Ron Unz, a conservative California software entrepreneur who has sponsored ballot initiatives opposing bilingual education. Although the campaign, “Free Harvard, Fair Harvard,” includes one left-leaning member — the consumer advocate Ralph Nader — Mr. Unz and the other three candidates have written or testified extensively against affirmative action, opposing race-based admissions.