Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No Accountability for Colleges

With a grandson going to college, I became acquainted with the high cost of higher education. I knew tuition, room, and board were expensive, but I never saw it up close and personal. With the cost of an education at a private university in the neighborhood of $50,000 per year, the student and his or her parents must enter the world of student loans and other types of financial aid. I can’t imagine somebody coming out of college with over $100,000 in debt, but a lot do. I don’t know how they do it!

What annoys me about this whole thing is that the cost of college has gone up much faster than the CPI, a common measure of inflation. I don’t know why the cost has risen 1,120% over the past 30 years, but I think a lot is due to the fact that there’s no accountability. Colleges have a guaranteed customer base (students) because most high school graduates know they need either a college degree or technical training to get a decent job and live the American dream. So colleges can charge what they want – and they do.

I don’t know all the reasons for these obscene increases, but I would recommend that colleges do some serious cost-cutting to bring down the cost to the student. To continue to burden their graduates with such a load of debt just isn’t right, especially since salaries haven’t increased very much in the past 10 years.

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