Why is college so expensive?

+37 votes
asked Jul 2, 2015 in Education by ConcettaYeq (520 points)
My parents told me that during their time, they could just pay for their college simply by working over the summer. What happen to that? Why is it so much more expensive now? It’s rudimentary for getting a job while at the same time ruins people life for people who took student debts. Why is college so expensive?

2 Answers

+12 votes
answered Jul 12, 2015 by EmelyA03568 (400 points)
College is so expensive these days because the government decides to slash the higher education public funding over the decades. The universities are then forced to raise their tuition fee every year and now everyone unprepared would have to take an education debt just so they could have a decent job. But that’s only half the story and the part that only the universities want you to know. Colleges are not spending any more money for the education as before. They simply need to get the money somewhere to replace that lost state funding, from the expensive tuition fees from families and students.

Public investment has never been higher than in the public funding age of 1960s. With spending inflating much faster than the government spending in general (1.8 times higher for military compared to 10 times for higher education). The rise in college fees correlates close to that with the increased higher education subsidies, instead of what you would expect. By the economic theory, the price increase comes from more demand for college while the supply grows slower. Since 1995, the enrollment for higher education has increased by nearly 50%. So states would channel more money per student base on this trend, resulting in about 390% increase in 20 years.

Where did the money go then? Salaries for full-time members of the faculty has been on average about the same as it was back in the 1970s, with half of them paid lower to teach part time. The money went to the university administration which grew by about 60% from 1993 to 2009, 10 times of that of the more prestige faculty positions, with administrators growing from members of 3800 to 12,183, a 221% increase. The rest went to make those college stadiums that’s only been used for a few times yearly and sports coaches (just so they could report that they have no profits increase).
commented Sep 4, 2015 by James (480 points)
such a sad fact that our generation has to pay way more to get college education... thanks for your idea on why is college so expensive!
+7 votes
answered Aug 12, 2015 by ashli (1,030 points)
Yeah, why is college so expensive… College tuition has been rising at the rate of 6% above that of inflation. College is pressured and questioned whether going to a college is ever still worth the cost. The public's, however, are more than happy to continue sending students, still believing and is still a fact that a college graduate earn considerably much more than a high school diploma holder. Even with the recent recession, the tuition price continues to increase. Cost wise, schools spend more to compete for students, offering attractive amenities and courses. Apparently, this is what drives the interest of the student the most. Not the reputation, but rather a fact whether it has a swimming pool or not. With that said, the school is aiming for the smaller pool, richer families for students, which is their most steady source of income. So if they can’t get the money from the general public, they might as well make it up with squeezing money off the rich ones.
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