The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

You are actually both. And debt slaves too. Thank your college administrators and the easy federal loan system.
You are actually both. And debt slaves too. Thank your college administrators and the easy federal loan system.

Holy moly, real live economic sanity on the pages of The New York Times!

And on the subject of higher education costs to boot. One of the editors must have been out sick or on peyote or something.

(From The New York Times)

The conventional wisdom was reflected in a recent National Public Radio series on the cost of college. “So it’s not that colleges are spending more money to educate students,” Sandy Baum of the Urban Institute told NPR. “It’s that they have to get that money from someplace to replace their lost state funding — and that’s from tuition and fees from students and families.”

In fact, public investment in higher education in America is vastly larger today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was during the supposed golden age of public funding in the 1960s. Such spending has increased at a much faster rate than government spending in general. For example, the military’s budget is about 1.8 times higher today than it was in 1960, while legislative appropriations to higher education are more than 10 times higher.

In other words, far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.

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