Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rising College Costs

Click on image for a larger version.

Amazing that the real cost of college has almost tripled since 1980.

Have I missed something or is providing a college education fairly similar today as it was back in 1980? I don't understand why the price has gone up almost three times. Where is all that additional money going? Or maybe financial aid has increased quite a bit and the average student doesn't pay nearly as much as the list price. Either way, I think the US should try and get private education prices back down to 20% of the median family income and public education down to 5% as it was from 1950 until 1980.

And things aren't going to get better in the short run as the NY Times reports that prices are likely to increase even more.

via The Race between Education and Technology


Rebelfish said...

I suspect part of it is that the "cost" of college may be the nominal price charged by the school. Harvard "costs" almost $33,000 each year. But I thought I remember here that they have such a huge endowment that kids whose parents make less than a combined $60k pay nothing. So although the nominal price is high, many don't pay that.

And part of it is just that colleges think they can charge whatever they like, I'm sure.

Fat Knowledge said...


Yeah, I agree with you that the nominal price and what people pay are different. I wish I knew how much that impacts the analysis.

As for colleges being able to charge what they like, what has changed over the last 30 years that allows them to charge more than they did before? That is what I don't get.

And where exactly does all that extra money go? Better salaries for professors? Building upgrades? Better athletic facilities for athletes and students? Putting computers everywhere? Saving money for a rainy day? I don't understand where the extra money is going either.

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