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”

Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo

Now that President Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president, he wants to hit the ground running and attend to urgent priorities. One of his first moves was to extend student loan payment deferrals until October, buying time for further reforms to America’s higher education system. Deferrals will be one small part of … Continue reading “Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo”

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”

Russell Kirk on Higher Education

Russell Kirk isn’t known as a policy wonk. The Great Books, not the mathematical or statistical models of economic technicians, were his organon of choice. He devoted essays to broad, perennial themes like “the moral imagination,” “liberal learning,” and “the permanent things.” Read his numerous columns about higher education, however, and you might come away … Continue reading “Russell Kirk on Higher Education”

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.