Skip to comments.The High Cost of Higher Education Explained in One Simple Graphic
Posted on 03/15/2013 9:23:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A student rides a bicycle past the bell tower on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Daniel Acker, Getty Images)
For years, politicians and pundits have held forth about the high cost of higher education. Whether the issue du jour is rising tuition prices, falling returns on our educational investment, or the ballooning student debt bubble, the message has generally been the same: College is only getting harder to afford, even as it becomes more necessary.
Recently, CourseSmart, an e-textbook provider, created an infographic that lays out in simple terms the details of the college tuition explosion -- and they're truly frightening. Over the last 30 years, tuition has increased 1,120 percent; by comparison, even the "skyrocketing" cost of health care only rose 600 percent, and housing costs have gone up a paltry 375 percent.
The difficulty of graduates finding jobs and repaying their debts is only compounded by the fact that too many of them hold expensive degrees for jobs that are hard to come by. The New York Times reported that in 2012, just 45 percent of graduating veterinarians had accepted a job, down from 84 percent in 1999. Attorney Chris Fletcher recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Americas law schools are producing more than 44,000 graduates per year while the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that only 21,880 new lawyers are needed annually.
Last year, the Hechinger Report found the percentage of Montanans earning college degrees had risen by more than 6 percent in the previous three years, the highest rate in the country. Our states schools have done well producing more graduates and institutions such as Flathead Valley Community College have worked with local businesses when determining what classes to offer their students. Some skills in health care, agriculture and even education have lower unemployment rates and all of Montanas colleges and universities should take that under consideration.
As student debt continues to far outpace inflation, it will begin to matter just as much what degree a graduate earns as whether they earn one at all.
We need more junior colleges and trade schools in this country, and more parents who refuse to sign loans for kids who insist on “going away” to college when the local junior college is five miles down the road.
We refused, and the kids balked a bit, but the day after college graduation, our kids were suddenly thrilled that they had gone to junior college first. LOL
We just went through this in Connecticut: http://articles.courant.com/2011-06-13/news/hc-uconn-hudd-resignation-0614-20110613_1_feldman-chief-hudd-public-safety
UConn Police Chief Robert Hudd retires [a campus cop fer gosh sakes]
**His annual pay was hiked to $255,848 last August, and the annual salary of Hudd’s second-in-command, Maj. Ronald Blicher, was raised to $201,883 at the same time, the column reported.
Both men’s salaries more than doubled in the last 10 years with each getting raises of at least $44,595 last year and their pay is far higher than many big-city police chiefs and counterparts on other college campuses. For example, Hudd’s salary is more than the $212,000 that New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was making as of two years ago.
“Bob’s experience, leadership and judgment have contributed significantly to the positive environment that we enjoy today**
Why Nutmeggers didn’t storm the capitol with pitchforks over this...I don’t know. It’s obscene.
Cost of college education? Heh.
Well, I guess UConn has one of the safest campus in America...
Get the government out of the college financing businesses.
The price of beans goes up when the government steals money from your neighbors to pay your banker for a loan taken for a portion of the beans you want.
In the spring the kids go on a drinking rampage. But that was pretty much stopped when the campus police figured out that if they banned the *townies* from campus for that weekend, things weren’t so bad.
Oh really, taxpayers are getting our monies worth. Especially from the basketball program. [blech!]
A very nice graphic, but it doesn’t actually explain it — at least not in terms of where the money is going. To do that you’d need graphs showing the increase in the number of administrative and support personnel at universities and colleges (at the university where I work, tripling over 20 years, while the number of faculty decreased 0.4%) and another showing the rates of increase in administrative salaries (outstripping inflation, though not by as much as tuition has) and faculty salaries (barely keeping pace with inflation, if that).
Huge increases in the salaries of left-wing professors, and increased costs in paying more and more teaching assistants and graduate assistants, so that professors really don’t do very much teaching any more.
Huge increases in the non-teaching administrative staff, providing everything from counseling, to health care, to treatment for drug addiction, to legal services. At my alma mater, the legal staff has quadrupled.
Dorm rooms used to resemble Army barracks. Now they more closely resemble luxury condominiums.
And of course, insurance premiums increase exponentially as students, faculty and staff find new and creative ways to sue the university.
Did I mention the pension plan?
I am sick of hearing leftist and low information voters complain about medical cost increases when they did an abysmal job of managing cost of the educational institutions they nearly totally control.
Yes it’s the “Big Education” cycle.
1) provide nearly unlimited subsidized loans to students
2) schools raise prices to soak up student funding
3) schools pay excessive salaries to legions of admins and profs
4) admins and profs donate to Democrats
Sure looks to me like total personal debt hasn’t risen over time. It appears to have only shifted from auto and credit card debt to government subsidized (that is, artificially low interest rate) student loan debt.
Much though you might want to believe that the money is going to “left-wing professors”, it’s not. I don’t think the local circumstances at my university are atypical: tripling the number of non-faculty administrative and staff positions, slightly shrinking faculty, and faculty salaries lagging or barely keeping up with inflation, while individual administrative salaries balloon.
Actually, in many places it’s more extreme. A lot of universities, unlike mine, are increasing the use of adjunct faculty — cutting the number of well-paid faculty lines and having part-timers teach more and more courses (which might gratify you since it takes money out of the pockets of “left-wing professors” but is bad for universities as institutions), even as their administrations continue to increase in size.
You also have a misconception about the effect of having more graduate teaching assistants: it actually cuts costs, since paying professorial salaries for the teaching TAs do would be much more expensive. It also doesn’t decrease the amount of teaching faculty do, it just shifts more of it into teaching graduate courses. Now if you fancy that universities exist only to teach undergraduates, then you might regard this as a bad thing. However, universities (as opposed to mere colleges) are almost defined by offering post-baccalaureate degrees and expecting their faculty to be active researchers or scholars in their respective disciplines, as opposed to mere teachers of their subjects.
The phenomenon of increasing tuition costs is really part of the plague that’s everywhere in our society: the professional manager ceasing to be a fiduciary acting on behalf of the ostensible owners/beneficiaries of the organization he manages and acting as if his position exists solely for his own enrichment. University presidents, provosts, top bureaucrats in every Federal agency, corporate CEOs, COOs, CFOs (in commerce, finance, industry, and even non-profits) all act this way (and often the same people float between different spheres. And like most instances of this corruption in every sphere is aided and abetted by Federal policies created at the behest of the managerial crooks on the basis of false pleas of social benefits.