The Bennett Hypothesis Turns 30: How Federal Funding Drives Tuition

In 1987, U.S. Education Secretary Bill Bennett asserted that increases in federal student aid make it possible for universities to increase tuition. In this presentation, Jenna Robinson will describe her new paper analyzing 30 years of research on that idea, which is now called “The Bennett Hypothesis.” Click here to register. This event is a Shaftesbury … Continue reading “The Bennett Hypothesis Turns 30: How Federal Funding Drives Tuition”


The Bennett Hypothesis Turns 30

Many Americans are concerned about the rise of university tuition. “The Bennett Hypothesis Turns 30,” a research paper by Jenna A. Robinson, merges findings from 25 empirical studies on the “Bennett Hypothesis”: Reagan-era Education Secretary William J. Bennett’s theory that large amounts of federal student aid drive up the cost of tuition.  Executive Summary In 1987, … Continue reading “The Bennett Hypothesis Turns 30”


Does “Merit Aid” Make Sense?

Businesses sometimes charge different customers different prices as a way to maximize revenue. Airlines, for example, usually charge more for seats reserved on short notice, on the theory that the traveler probably doesn’t have good alternatives and will therefore pay a high price. (Economists call it price discrimination.) Similarly, colleges and universities sometimes also charge … Continue reading “Does “Merit Aid” Make Sense?”




The High Cost of Low Tuition

The Florida legislature voted this spring to allow three universities to raise tuition well above the average for Florida’s state universities – up to 40 percent over four years for the University of Florida and Florida State, up to 30 per cent in the case of the University of South Florida. Although Governor Charles Crist had threatened a veto, he changed his mind, and tuition is going up in the fall of 2008.

When it comes to setting tuition, who is right – the legislators, following the lead of university administrators, who want significant increases in tuition — or the governor, who signed the bill reluctantly and vetoed a system-wide 5 per cent increase in tuition this fall? (Editor’s note: The legislature eventually overrode the governor’s veto.)


Caveat emptor, suckers

House Bill 1183 would give the children of illegal immigrants the privilege of attending UNC schools and community colleges in N.C. for in-state tuition. Looks like yet another talking point used to sell us on the $3.1 billion bond referendum for higher education in 2000 could turn out to be a big fat whopper.


Kerry only tells half the story about college costs

As part of his litany of George Bush woes, John Kerry cites rising college costs. It’s up dramatically since Bush took office, he says, pricing hundreds of thousands of students out. Kerry cites only the “sticker price” of tuition and fees, however. He’s ignoring that the net price — that’s the sticker price discounted by grant aids and tax benefits — is actually lower now than it was ten years ago.


Students: Tuition increases mean … we pay more!

UNC schools are discussing raising tuition again, some schools by up to $300. For many UNC students, it is their first taste of hardship, and for many parents of UNC students, it could mean their last gasp at shielding their fledglings from hardship. “I may have to give up flying home,” says Weinlaud. “And if I drive to Florida for Spring Break, that’ll cut out two whole days of partying. It’s not fair!”