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View Diary: Why has tuition at colleges and universities risen so rapidly? (52 comments)

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  •  you should read Anya Kamenetz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fiddler crabby

    and her two books - "Generation Debt" about how college grads are entering into the work force with more debt and less potential payoff than ever.

    and her more recent book - DIY-U about how just the problems you describe and others (though she goes into more detail) are reducing the value of a college degree and forcing innovations in the education sector. Great progressive ideas all around. But she makes a big point that Pell grants make college more expensive.

    take a look. DIYU isnt even 200 pages.

    •  I have to say, I'm very dubious about (5+ / 0-)

      her points about pell grants.

      More money to schools reduces subsidy. In order to see an increase, you have to find the fat. That's the point with efficiency, and why the study I point to is so important as it breaks things down into net costs and net prices while taking account of subsidies.

      Pell grants aid poorer students. The net effect is to reduce the subsidy that schools need to have poorer students attend. If you got rid of pell grants tomorrow, schools would respond in two ways:

      1. Raise tuition to cover the shortfall in the subsidizing of poor students.
      1. End need-blind admissions policies so that fewer poor students would be admitted.

      The third option is cutting more expenses.

      I'm open to suggestions as to what those expenses are, but I know from sitting in long meetings about cuts, that things are being cut to the bone right now, and we also compare our cost-cutting measures to those of sister schools in the same system. It seems we're doing some counter-intuitive things at times (such as firing cheaper faculty) while other times our peers are doing such things (gutting graduate programs). At a certain point, when things have settled (and no one expects funding to increase), we have to account for ourselves and determine whether the damage has caused too much dysfunction. At that point, we'll start sawing off limbs. it won't be pretty. I'm seeing a certain level of dysfunction already. And actually, I see INCREASED costs to students because of cutting instead of decreased costs.

      The idea that less funding to universities decreases costs is not met by reality so far.

      For instance, firing faculty and offering fewer classes. This creates increased time to graduation and loss of income for students. It also creates dysfunction in the curriculum. Sure, eventually, in ten years or so, we'll figure out how to streamline things (but it takes that long to figure out what to do with faculty whose program has been cut).

      In NY state, they increased tuition last year from 4.3k to 4.9k, while cutting funding by 15%. Those poor students agreed to the tuition increase because they were savvy enough to understand the quality of their education was diminishing. Too bad the politicians took 95% of the money and plugged holes in the state budget with it. A totally immoral move by our Democratic leadership. Disgusting if you ask me.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 05:53:44 PM PDT

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      •  it sounds to me (0+ / 0-)

        like you and Anya Kamenetz would love to bump heads. take a look at her books.

        thanks fo your comment.

        •  I have read her stuff before (0+ / 0-)

          and yeah we'd butt heads. But look at what she wrote here:

          How can we try to fix things?

          First by removing billions of dollars of subsidies to banks and returning to the direct-loan program that was instituted by President Clinton in 1993 -- which is much, much cheaper -- and then diverting the billions of dollars saved (something like $60 billion over the next 10 years) to grants.

          Well,the US gov't just did that. And here she talks about increasing grants, so? Is she really a critic of pell grants. She thinks starving universities is best. But that will either cause an increase in tuition or a shutting off of access. This is why the study I linked to emphasizes the growth in student aid. If you cut that off, you cut off access. I don't think she has read the study I'm linking too because elsewhere she makes a comment that in the business world, there is innovation and efficiency, but in the world of higher ed, there is no innovation and no efficiency. Her statement contradicts the report on college cots, and I fail to see how an entire enterprise dedicated to the notion of innovation is less innovative than business, or less efficient for that matter. The last couple of years have shown us how inefficient businesses are.

          Finally, one of her solutions is distance learning. For many years she has been backing for-profit colleges as supposedly great models for education. And ironically these are the worst schools in terms of her bugaboos, saddling students with huge debt, questionable effectiveness in terms of education.

          Read this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

          I could go on and on about this article and how contradictory it is, but essentially I think her points come from the right wing.

          Business is efficient, innovative, while non-profits are inefficient. She says this repeatedly. Her ideological bent is a real problem for me, because even when she is presented with real evidence to the contrary of her opinions, she doesn't budge.

          Distance learning may be fine but it's just different than what I would do, and I have no interest in doing it, and I'm sure the vast majority of my colleagues would agree.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 06:06:41 AM PDT

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