Posted by: crudbasher | July 20, 2011

Why Are Universities So Expensive?

(cc) Jason Pier in DC

Do you want to know why medical costs have been skyrocketing in recent decades? Watch TV and you will find out a big cause. There are commercials that run advertising “free” mobility scooters. The companies even say they will do all the paperwork for Medicare. How nice! Of course, the one thing they won’t tell you is the actual price of the scooter. So you have a situation where a person can “buy” a scooter without knowing the price because someone else is paying for it. I am sure that in a lot of cases the people getting the scooter could use it, but I’m also sure the government is being vastly overcharged. It’s always easy to spend someone else’s money.

So how does this apply to college?

There is a glut of money in the form of student loans flooding into the US university system. Even with record enrollments and record amounts of financial aid, universities are having to raise tuitions significantly because state funding is dropping. These increases in tuition tend to be accepted by the students because they don’t have to pay for it immediately themselves. Again, it’s someone else’s money.

So why are schools so expensive? An article in the Washington Examiner contains an interesting fact. From 1975-2008, the number of faculty in the California State University system rose by 3 percent. During the same time the number of administrators rose by 221%. In fact there are now more administrators than faculty.

This is sewing the seeds of destruction for universities. Do you notice how people in administration seem to be immune from budget cuts? It’s always teachers that get laid off not the 3rd Deputy Assistant Diversity Coordinator. This path isn’t sustainable and is a setup for a crisis. No business could operate like this.

I think more and more people will be finding alternate, low cost ways to learn. Once enough people stop coming to colleges, the weight of administration will collapse the system.

    • For what have institutions of higher learning accomplished with their vast increases in revenues? The answer in all too many cases is administrative bloat.
    • Take the California State University system, the second tier in that state’s public higher education. Between 1975 and 2008 the number of faculty rose by 3 percent, to 12,019 positions. During those same years the number of administrators rose 221 percent, to 12,183. That’s right: There are more administrators than teachers at Cal State now.
    • These people get paid to “liaise” and “facilitate” and produce reports on diversity. How that benefits Cal State students or California taxpayers is unclear.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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