Let the Buyer Beware!

“Almost all students cite getting a better job as a primary reason for attending college,” writes Preston Cooper in the opening paragraph of his new study, entitled Is College Worth It? A Comprehensive Return on Investment Analysis. He refers to an annual survey by UCLA that found that the percentage of incoming freshmen who state … Continue reading “Let the Buyer Beware!”

States Need to Take the Lead in Controlling College Costs

The coronavirus pandemic may be nearing its end, but that does not mean a return to normal in all cases. Even before the virus pushed classes out of the physical classroom to online, America’s system of colleges and universities was spiraling out of control with high costs and stagnant innovation. Every year, families about to … Continue reading “States Need to Take the Lead in Controlling College Costs”

Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?

Public higher education was once America’s great enabler, permitting young people from lower-class backgrounds to attend college for very little money and to rise as far as their abilities and drives would take them. That may no longer be the case, according to economists James Koch and Richard Cebula. In their 2020 book, Runaway College … Continue reading “Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?”

New Study Analyzes the High Cost of College

TANSTAAFL. There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. That’s the pithy way that economists convey the idea that there are always costs associated with the goods and services we consume. Some resources, if only our time, had to be expended so we could enjoy them. Despite foolish talk from politicians about giving us … Continue reading “New Study Analyzes the High Cost of College”

Did You Know? The Ever-Increasing Sticker Price of College Tuition

College tuition increases across the country have shown no sign of slowing down. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the sticker price of tuition (before discounts and student aid) for all institutions was $4,885 in 1985; by 2018, it was $23,835, a 387 percent increase. That’s a dramatic increase over a few decades. … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Ever-Increasing Sticker Price of College Tuition”

Exposing the Moral Flaws in Our Higher Education System

Many if not most professors and higher education leaders enjoy pontificating about their high-minded ideals in contrast with the grubby, self-interested world outside of academia. What few people have done is to turn the lens around and ask about the morals of those professors and leaders. Are they in fact paragons of virtue, or could … Continue reading “Exposing the Moral Flaws in Our Higher Education System”

It is possible to control college costs—and I did it

Many college leaders speak as though the upward cost spiral is permanent and unavoidable. From experience, I can say that’s not true.

Tuition increases at American colleges began in earnest in the 1960s and ’70s, when I was a mathematics professor and later dean at C.W. Post College. The first changes driving the increases were the reductions in teaching loads.