It depends on the challenge. I would not mind a challenge of more pages and resources required on a research paper because I like writing, but a greater challenge in math is questionable. Some may argue that a challenge in an already competent area may not really be a challenge in itself. While some people find more rewards in being intermediate in various skills. I find it more rewarding to master a single skill. If a writer writes 1,000 words a day is it not a greater challenge to write 5,000 words a day? Do Olympians not challenge themselves in the same competent skill to become greater? I have never seen an Olympian win gold in snowboarding and four years later they are competing in the swimming pool.
There is nothing wrong with challenging ourselves in other areas. Michael Jordan challenged himself in baseball, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) challenged himself in acting and both men have had moderate success in skills that they have not mastered. I want to master fiction writing, but I also have an interest in electric guitar. Do I need a greater challenge in guitar playing as I do in writing? No, we can be average in many skills, good in some, but we can only master one skill. Therefore, I will accept basic challenges in guitar playing while taking greater challenges in writing. If you take great challenges in various skills then you will only be great at what you are competent in because you will learn the material quicker and have a greater appreciation for the rewards.
Many students do not find favor in general ed courses because students often struggle in courses that do not serve rewards in their career goals. Students find general ed courses to be a waste of time like being an English major and struggling to understand how to measure the distance of stars. On the other hand, general ed courses are important because it makes students well rounded, and it helps us in ways we may not see such as if I ever write a science fiction story about the world being destroyed by a falling star then that Astronomy course will come in handy.
But, general ed courses merely need an introductory difficulty, so students can determine if they enjoy the course and further their studies in the subject. Raising the difficulty in courses we are not interested in raises the stress level, and will affect the students’ success rate in their major courses. If tuition is lowered the challenge/difficulty of courses should only be raised in major courses where students will feel more reward in a skill that they enjoy. I will feel more rewarding from winning a Pulitzer Prize than discovering a new planet.
I fear that when I think of greater challenge/difficulty I think of more complex textbooks and harder standardized tests with questions that have three right answers but one is more precise. Intelligence and skill are not completely proven by standardized tests which the U.S. prides itself on to not deal with many issues of teachers teaching and students learning. Some of the challenges should be group work, off campus activities (let the students get hands on training), and oral presentations.
I will support an institution that lowers the tuition and raises the challenges in my field of study, but if the general ed courses have a difficulty-raise then I suggest there would be much cheating in the classroom because most students are not going to be motivated to master a subject that is not career oriented.