Please read this NY Times article which describes why the cost of college is so high. Here are the highlights for those too lazy to click:
- This is the story college administrators like to tell when they’re asked to explain why, over the past 35 years, college tuition at public universities has nearly quadrupled, to $9,139 in 2014 dollars. It is a fairy tale in the worst sense, in that it is not merely false, but rather almost the inverse of the truth.
- In other words, far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education.
- As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.
- Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.
- By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.
- Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.
- The rapid increase in college enrollment can be defended by intellectually respectable arguments. Even the explosion in administrative personnel is, at least in theory, defensible. On the other hand, there are no valid arguments to support the recent trend toward seven-figure salaries for high-ranking university administrators, unless one considers evidence-free assertions about “the market” to be intellectually rigorous.
- What cannot be defended, however, is the claim that tuition has risen because public funding for higher education has been cut. Despite its ubiquity, this claim flies directly in the face of the facts.
Do you see the parallels to our healthcare system? It’s obvious to anyone. We are seeing subsidies for Obamacare that will only increase. The tsunami of this public money will not decrease healthcare costs. It will increase them! The spending has not gone into the doctors hands. Just like higher education, the money has gone to more and more administrators who are getting paid more and more. But,there will always be those idiots who will argue otherwise and make claims that fly directly in the face of the facts.
The resemblance is uncanny. Please help stop it.Tweet