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Here's a plain fact: record disinvestment in higher education at the state level leads to record tuition hikes. In 2012, the trend escalated with the biggest single year jump on record. That’s clear from the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of a new State Higher Education Officers Association (SHEEO) report, which finds that average tuition at public universities rose by 8.3%, after grants and scholarship. Simultaneously, funding per full-time student fell an equivalent 9%, the largest drop since 1980. 

California, for example, cut 14.3% of its funding for public higher education, the highest percentage in the country. As a result, the Journal found that 20,000 qualified students per year are being turned away from the California State University system alone. Those are students who are potentially denied a pathway to the middle class that was available to their parents, and promised to them. 

All told, investment in public higher education is down 26% since 1990. But the trend away from investment in higher education accelerated during the Great Recession. Since 2007, almost every state slashed funding for higher education, while almost every state, in turn, raised tuition. That's directly proportional to disinvesment: The Chronicle of Higher Education finds that where in 1987 tuition revenue accounted for 23% of public college revenue, today it accounts for 47%. State funding, meanwhile, has cratered to less than half. The result? As Charles Blow noted in his column today, state and local appropriates per student "reached their high in 2001, at $8,670. In 2012, those appropriations fell by nearly one third, to just $5,896."

 These tuition spikes and funding cuts have a disastrous impact on students, as all these trends come amidst a student-loan crisis that has already reached record heights. Student debt now totals $902 billion, larger than credit card debt. It averages around $27,000 per student in the class of 2011, according to estimates by the College Board. That’s debt that can’t be easily discharged in bankruptcy, that can be garnished from social security benefits or wages by the federal government. That’s debt taken on by students for a good that used to be public. Many of the same villains from the financial crisis are now profiting on the growth of student loans, with banks now marketing private student loans directly to students.

In his State of the Union, President Obama pledged to tackle the high cost of college and record student loan debt. Yet he didn't propose a solution. As Demos Vice President Tamara Draut said of the State of the Union, "while [Obama] rightly called on universities to be more accountable for rising costs, he failed to acknowledge the biggest driver behind skyrocketing tuition and college debt: a steady and swift decline in state funding for public colleges and universities."

Originally posted to Cup of Joe on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Along with the sharp decrease in public (37+ / 0-)

    support of higher education, the number of highly paid "administrators" has escalated. These administrators don't teach, do shuffle papers and do add significantly to tuition costs.

    Why is it that educational loans are one of the very few debts that can't be wiped out by bankruptcy? Which special interest does that serve, it certainly isn't the student?

      •  Not trying to take anything away from you.... (4+ / 0-)

        I'll say out front I thing a university education should be available at no more than a nominal cost to anyone with the time, will, and intellect to pursue it.  Unfortunately that's only an option for about 1 in 5 college students right now--those lucky enough to get a nice, fat scholarship.

        For the other 4 of 5 it means loans--really big ones, accumulating quickly, to the tune of 40 to 80k for a Bachelor's.  Whether or not that qualifies as debt slavery is a matter of definition.  We'd all agree it's way to much for a 25 year old, let alone a 50 year old.  Reality, though, is that student loan debt is manageable enough that one doesn't have to trade survival to pay it.

        So folks right now have a choice--buy a house or buy an education.  They're choosing education in droves.  It's the right choice.  The folks who lose in this deal are the ones over 45 who are looking to sell their large, expensive homes.  They will find few, if any qualified buyers with down payments.  Sucks for them, but it doesn't change anything.  The choice to be educated is the right one.

        I appreciate your low standards ;)

        by Cameron Hoppe on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:25:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are too many administrators, (18+ / 0-)

      but there's also too much paperwork.  If you're going to administer federal aid, loans, etc. etc., you need administrators, like it or not.  And don't even get me started on that obscene racket called "accreditation."

      Educational loans: Ask the government and the banks; they came up with the program and the rules.  Universities didn't.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:18:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet universities massively benefit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, bumbi, ManhattanMan

        Can't pay all those overpriced administrators without a steady stream of loans (and grant money). State, federal, local: just keep it coming!!!

        Thought experiment: let's pretend all loans everywhere vanished. Do you think Northeastern's tuition would stay over $50k? Who would go?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:08:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right, but what's concerning here (20+ / 0-)

          are the trends: less money to higher education; more tax incentives and tax cuts for businesses and high-earning individuals.

          I don't think the issue is so much about what would happen to expensive schools, but whether a basic, decent education at a public university is moving out of reach for many or even most.

          Case in point: early 1990s, tuition/fees at my very decent state university was, in today's dollars, about $1000 per semester. Right now, it's over $6000 per semester.

          $2000 per year, or $8000 for a degree, is pretty attainable for many parents. Even if parents couldn't afford it, it was quite possible to work your way through school. You would have to scrimp and save, and you wouldn't get to spend as much time goofing off as your friends did, but I knew many students who made it through on their own.

          But $12,000 per year, or $48,000 for a degree, is a huge difference.

          You may be someone who thinks that government has no role in ensuring affordable education; or you may think that the private sector could do a better job. That's fine; but I and probably many others here would disagree with both those opinions.

          •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, No Exit, sgrAstar, tcdup, Leap Year
            whether a basic, decent education at a public university is moving out of reach for many or even most.
          •  It's not that I think the gov't... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            indefinitelee, ManhattanMan, Tork

            ...should have 'no role'.

            But you have to consider the (I would argue) fact that grant and loan availability drives up costs.

            The mechanism is simple. Let's say college is $5k/year. You can flip burgers or clean houses or whatever enough to cover that in cash. Then the government comes along and "helps" you with a $5k loan. Great, right? Except not so great, because the college responds by upping its tuition to $10k!

            The loan has done nothing to help you and a lot to hurt you.

            This is a contrived example, but it demonstrates how a constant fire hose of federal, state, and private grant and loan money drives up costs. Even though most institutions are 'not for profit', they have a lot of expensive administration and facilities and will generally charge as much as they can possibly get away with. For example, a friend of mine at Emerson noted that employees get a 4x (!) match on some 401k contributions. Where does that money come from?

            Again, I'm not arguing that there should be no government involvement, but these realities must be understood in order to understand how to address the issue.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:09:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, it's a very contrived example (6+ / 0-)

              because there's nothing remotely resembling a 1-to-1 correspondence between loan amounts and tuition increases.

              Look, there's plenty of blame to go around.  Part of it even goes more or less in the direction of the students.  When I was a kid, you shared a spartan room, and if there was one bathroom for four students, you were in the best dorm on campus.  And don't even get me started on air conditioning -- and I went to undergraduate school in an ex-Confederate state.  Nowadays, if the university doesn't default to offering a private room, with bathroom, to each kid, you can kiss your incoming freshman class goodbye, because they'll go to colleges that better accommodate their lifestyles.

              "Information technology" -- hardware, software, and (if you're really lucky) competent wetware to run it all -- has cost more money than it's saved by the attritioning of typists.

              And don't even get me started on the staggering inflationary increases in the cost of library materials, especially in the lucrative disciplines where private publishers not only charge subscribers outrageously, but charge the authors hefty fees just to be published!  When I worked in a medical library in the mid-1990s, a subscription to just one title -- Brain Research -- cost $11,000.  I can't even begin to imagine what it costs now.

              Yes, there are plenty of universities that are expensive playground ripoffs (*cough*Ivy League), but you'd be surprised how many of them are working miracles with double-digit decreases in state funding and single-digit increases in tuition and fees.

              Of course a "libertarian" (of any stripe) would be the last person to care, I imagine.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:25:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  can't forget football (5+ / 0-)

                Those incredible, multi-million dollar stadiums, can't imagine what sport programs cost universities or the ROI of those programs.

                But what I do know, from a very very slow progress on a dissertation, is that I only pay $208 a semester in tuition at a very good university (including their part with two companies, company A and company B), here who provide world famous optics to NASA and others), that includes free regional (train), anywhere in the state, and city public transportation ... but there are no sport programs outside of student fitness programs.

                with that said, I have to take the opportunity to plug...
                WOLVERINES!!!! GO BLUE!!!!

                Don't be a dick, be a Democrat! Oppose CPI cuts! Support Social Security and Veteran Benefits!

                by Jeffersonian Democrat on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:41:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Certainly can't forget fubbaw! (3+ / 0-)

                  But I think I mentioned it in one of my comments last night.

                  This is a good time to point out that despite what the Received Wisdom says, varsity athletics is a moneyloser at most institutions.  One of the many tricks used to hide this truth is to pay the coaches as professors (thus including them in the budget for "academics"); there are several others.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:44:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

                    Most of the money for stadiums and other facilities comes from alumni donations.  Usually.  I work at a large university, and I know about a decade ago our athletics department got millions in debt and the university bailed them out.  But since then they've been pretty good financially.  Of course, one could argue that those donations  represent dollars that now aren't available to more beneficial causes.

                    Mike Bellotti, former Oregon head coach, makes about $40,000 per month since he "retired".  And that money comes straight from the state coffers.  Crap like that is a real problem.

                    I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

                    by Russycle on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:58:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  In general, that's true. However, football, men's (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Leap Year

                    basketball, and for some schools, men's hockey, all make money for the colleges.  The other athletic teams are basically being funded by these programs.

                    •  not true. all athletics are money losers (0+ / 0-)

                      at most colleges.

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:44:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I guess if one includes DII and DIII athletics, (0+ / 0-)

                        "most" colleges might not make any money on athletics.  However, of D1 schools, the vast majority of men's football, basketball, and hockey programs finance themselves and other sports.  

                        100,000 people show up to watch a Michigan football team play on a Saturday afternoon, but I'd be shocked if 10% of that total showed up for a Cross Country, Volleyball, Rowing, Lacrosse, or Soccer match.  In fact, for a given year, if one excludes basketball and hockey, I'd bet the attendance at one Michigan home football game is greater than the attendance at all other Michigan games, for all other sports, combined.

            •  This is a squishy argument (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, gof

              unless we can find actual data showing that availability of government loans and grants is actually what's driving tuition increases.

              And of course private loans (not funded or backed by the government) are quite common now too - so why only blame the availability of government loans?

              For more reading on this:David Warren on why loans are not causing the tuition rise.

              Chronicle of Higher Education concludes that

              It is challenging to use the market-power formulation [i.e. the notion that loans drive tuition increases] to explain the facts. The primary inconsistency is that the average subsidy per enrollment in the United States is declining, while the average sticker price is rising. This pattern is contrary to the market-power formulation's main prediction.
              I know that libertarians prefer to think of economics as a clean little closed system where x causes y and f causes g and government involvement is almost always bad, but in this case, you just don't have the facts to back up your assertion. But most libertarians that I know aren't swayed by facts - their theory would work, you see, if it weren't for some meddling little market inefficiency, or other bothersome real-world detail.
        •  This is about greed. (9+ / 0-)

          Government doesn't fund private schools with tax dollars.  Kids might get PELL or qualify for those "happy days are here again" loans - gov't and private, but that isn't calculated into the cost of the tuition I pay - except as an inflationary factor.  It is the abundance of indentured loans that makes the cost so high.  It's like the mortgage scam.

          Michigan passed over thousands of qualified residents to take out-of-state students and their bigger tuition.  I think I read as high as 34%.    If they are taking my MI tax money, they need to take ALL of the qualified MI kids first.   I could say lots more about Michigan, but I won't.  

          We need to have FREE public post secondary education for our kids - all of them.    Jails, tanks and bombs - no problem.   Then these same yahoos whine "we don't have the workforce we need".   Fuck them.

          What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

          by dkmich on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:56:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kids might get PELL or qualify for those "happy days are here again" loans - gov't and private, but that isn't calculated into the cost of the tuition I pay - except as an inflationary factor
            This is nonsense. If it's an 'inflationary factor' then it makes tuition more expensive, right? If the school expects a lot of Pell grants, then kids who don't get Pell grants pay more than they would otherwise have done so, because the school sets salaries and infrastructure spend on its income, all its income which includes Pell grants and all loans.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:19:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The loans - administrators link is less clear (0+ / 0-)

        than the growth of administration functions being tied to incurring of debt-laden building programs, growth of on-campus housing industries, growth in meal plan businesses, and, simply self-serving growth in the aggregate number of administrators.

        Yes, loan programs demanded additions to staff - in the loans / student aid office. But the growth in administrator positions vs. teacher positions is on a completely different, steeper curve, often with significantly higher per person remuneration.

        In a nutshell - one of the first responses an administrator seems to have is to appeal for - more administrators.

    •  That particular law (5+ / 0-)

      Was passed just after the law that made it OK for predatory lenders to make high interest student loans, backed by the federal treasury; and for credit card companies to retroactively hike interest rates.

      The Obama administration returned federally-backed student loans to federal hands, but did not rescind the bankruptcy rule that had been part & parcel of the Bush administration's student indentured servitude program.

      •  Meanwhile they hand out work visas to the (5+ / 0-)

        foreign-born and foreign-educated so they get the jobs, often with educations that they obtained at government expense in their countries, where university education is tuition-free.

        The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

        by helfenburg on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:34:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have anything more systematic (9+ / 0-)

      than anecdotal info?  I ask seriously, because I haven't seen that.  I know there are some people who get paid ridiculous amounts of money, but I don't think it is anywhere near the explanation for the change.  Faculty don't get increased salary, have to pay more and more of their health expenses (if they get covered at all), and do more and more of their own paperwork as they have cut support staff, including secretarial and cleaning folks, not to mention dealing with disability and documentation for students which we have to keep track of in case of legal issues.  I am glad our student support services have increased staff, and we have gone from nine schools to five schools headed by deans, which has cut expenses.  The library doesn't buy as many journal subscriptions and there are lots of other things we have cut, but we have computer labs and better and better technology in classrooms.  I don't think a lot of the increase in costs is high salary administrators at my university, and that is anecdotal as well.  Where can I find the data to show the percentage of expenses that goes into administrative salaries now relative to ten years ago?  Thanks.

      •  A study of the UW system concluded that the (8+ / 0-)

        primary driver of increasing cost/student (not to be confused with price/student) was the increasing cost of health care benefits.

        Ultimately, the problem of health care costs is what is going to bring the US economy crashing down. The only solution is to tax another 5% of the GDP and apply the revenue to universal single payer health care. That is the only solution. Pretending that anything else will work is denialism; pretending that Obamacare is a cure, rather than a bandaid, is denialism; pretending that good ol' murkin ingenuity will get us out of this mess is denialism; pretending that our health care is so expensive because we've got the "best health care system in the world" is denialism; pretending that the problem is we all go to the doctor too much is denialism; etc etc etc.

        We cannot maintain anything remotely resembling a modern liberal democracy in which the bulk of the population enjoys any level of physical comfort and economic security until we decide that the government will collect a total of about 10% of the GDP and apply that revenue to regulated, cost-controlled universal health care. "Regulated" in this context means things like this: If there are 5 hospitals within a 5 mile radius, they don't all get to have all and every last modern multi-gazillion-dollar gadget. Those are gadgets are rationed to a level approximating legitimate demand.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:59:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The two big drivers (0+ / 0-)

          of K-12 costs here and even things like public transportation are health care and retirement.  This is really insane.

          I am astounded that corporations aren't DEMANDING that the government take over health care and take it off their plate and out of their employee negotiations.  

          Retirements systems have gone kooky too.  Some state employees here (but not most, to be sure) are getting 100's of thousands of dollars in retirement pensions.  Bonkers.

          I'm all for workers rights, but lets let worker-employee relations deal with actual work, wages, and working conditions, and get the health care and retirement largely out of the equation.  

          I'm still mad about Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:32:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Colleges are too fat. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Look at the stats provided by the Diarist:

        "...average tuition at public universities rose by 8.3%, after grants and scholarship. Simultaneously, funding per full-time student fell an equivalent 9%, the largest drop since 1980."
        Government pays 47% of the tab. Their share goes down by 9% so that's a 4.2% drop. But the students are asked for 8.3% more!

        Doe anybody dare ask what-in-Sam-Hill the college is spending 4.1% more on?

        It ain't salaries, because those are still low. It ain't general goods and services because there's been no inflation.

        I say let colleges:

        1) Fire 50% of all employes who don't teach or do physical labor.

        2) Quit changing textbooks every year.

        This will show that they are serious about efficiency. Then we can talk about handing them more money.

        (The crack about firing 50% of the "suits" was just an angry snark-flame. Maybe only 45%.../flame off)

        Seriously, why does it cost $100,000 to learn Poetry or Math if they are only paying the professors $50k/year to teach 80 kids? How does that happen?

        •  your math is off (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob, annetteboardman

          If tuition accounts for 53% of a colleges budget, and it increases tuition by 8.3%, that results in a 4.4% increase to the budget.  Offset that by the 4.2% drop from state funding, you get 0.2% net increase in the budget.

          I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

          by Russycle on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:12:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

            But still, how can budgets be increasing? Nobody is getting raises. And the Internet should be driving the costs down.

            The answer? Too many Assistant Deans. Too many plush seats in the football stadiums. Too many shiny buildings.

            •  health care and IT (0+ / 0-)

              Health care costs are skyrocketing for everyone, and the cost to keep replacing computers, printers, etc. isn't going down, either.

            •  Maybe sorta.... (0+ / 0-)

              Stadiums and buildings buildings are paid for out of donations primarily.  the Too Many Deans meme sounds a lot like the Cut the Fat Out of Government meme, but I suspect there's some validity to it, I would like to see a good study on the costs of administration over the last couple decades.

              Health care and pensions are definitely drivers, and yes, IT infrastructure isn't  cheap.

              I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

              by Russycle on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 01:55:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  information about college costs (0+ / 0-)

        One of the best sources of information about college costs at all levels is the Chronicle of Higher Education.  They do charge a subscription fee, but many of the articles at their website are free. They are a mostly bulls*t free source of great information about anything to do with Higher education.

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          but I haven't seen the specifics the diarist suggests are there.  They are all singular instances.  I am looking for a national discussion, and I have not seen that in the CoHE or Inside Higher Ed, the latter of which I read through every day.

    •  Source? (nmi) (0+ / 0-)

      "There's nothing heroic about earning profit." -Odo, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:21:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  let's not forget (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mollyd, J Orygun

      the number of adjunct professors that are teaching as apposed to the number of tenured professors.  As the tenured profs retire they are replaced with what can only be described as part-time teachers.  These adjunct professors are giving 2-3K to teach a class even though the university is making tens of thousands of dollars on that class.  I don't mean to say that these adjunct profs are unqualified or bad teachers, the point I am trying to make is that in lieu of hiring full time teacher and giving the benefits the university goes cheap and low balls these teachers and gives them nothing but a couple of hours of work each week.

      Right now higher education is a scam and for the most part private colleges are the worst.

    •  I would love to see increased funding tied to (0+ / 0-)

      an improvement in teacher - student ratios; thereby dissauding colleges from lathering on extra administrators, or engaging in large, dent-laden building programs.

  •  The high cost of tuition (19+ / 0-)

    makes it impossible for some of us to go back and get all this "retraining" the powers that be suggest to make us more successful in what's left of the job market.

    More and more, we're all getting swindled by the wealthy class, and made, bit by bit, into serfs.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 02:18:37 PM PDT

  •  "Professional-class" athletic stadiums don't help (21+ / 0-)

    Berkeley stadium fundraising falls short  after ignoring engineering common sense, getting an exemption to a safety regulation, and bulldozing trees for a "professional-class" training room.  Meanwhile, UC administrators implement reorganization intended to cut payroll and benefits by 1/3.  

    Athletics ruining universities by Chris Hedges

    The corporate world sees football players, fraternity brothers and sorority sisters as prime recruits. They have been conditioned to join the team, to surrender moral autonomy, to accept and carry out acts of personal humiliation, to treat with contempt those who oppose them or who are different, to define their life by an infantile narcissism centered on greed and self-promotion and to remain silent about crimes they witness or take part in. It is the very ethic of corporations.  
    That, and a lot of corporatists are barbarians.  

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

    by LucyandByron on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:32:07 PM PDT

    •  meanwhile uni sports keeps RW radio going - (5+ / 0-)

      about 30% or more of limbaugh stations and many more RW stations that headline other blowhards ALL work for defunding and privatizing public ed from megaphones with school team logos on them. and on the local level they'd have a major influence on selling stadiums, electing regents, etc.

      those associations need to end.

      (see sig, post below)

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:26:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ^^^Preach it!!! n/t (3+ / 0-)

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:30:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tell me about it (19+ / 0-)

      FAU, the big state university in my hometown, spent millions on a fancy new stadium. Unfortunately, the administration forgot that the 10-year-old football team completely sucked. They're barely filling half the seats while the team has lost almost every game. And where did they take the money from? Athletic scholarships. In other words, they tried to fund a shiny new stadium by not only taking money badly needed for academics and housing, but by making the already-crappy football team WORSE.

      That's when they hit on the brilliant idea of selling naming rights to the stadium to a corporation. You know, like big ampitheaters and the like do every few years. Except the only offer they got was pathetic--about a third of what peer universities have gotten, for 12 years. And where did it come from? GEO Group, a private prison corporation whose human rights violations have gotten it kicked out of entire countries. Now the school is rightly being attacked by the students and the local and national press and the stadium has been nicknamed "Owlcatraz".

      Meanwhile, students' tuition keeps going up and students are taking longer to graduate because of state budget cuts, just so Governor Scott can pay for a NEW university that no one wants, with no students, to "create jobs" by training students in science and technology. Ok, but Scott failed to explain how it helps anyone to cut off the prestigious flagship engineering programs to fund a new university that's not even accredited.

      Yeah, Florida's higher education system is going the way of the K-12 system--straight down the drain.

      "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

      by foreverblue on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:50:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not every school can be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the University of Texas, whose football program is quite profitable and helps support other sports, as well as the general fund. But even having a profitable program is not all sunshine and roses, as the linked article explains.

        •  The school (0+ / 0-)

          also has some sort of oil fund from properties it owns or some sort of funding stream from oil that was established years and years ago.

          You can't compare UT to other schools when it comes to funding.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:41:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Something like a few dozen athletic programs (0+ / 0-)

          are profitable in the entire country. In Ohio, there's only one — THE Ohio State University. All the others should cut competitive sports loose. Universities in other countries don't underwrite sports teams.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:10:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Owlcatraz... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama


        I love it!

        Now all that needs to be done is "Stick The Name" harder than the official name...

        Harder than the "Santorum" and "Defecate In Terror" Google Bombs...

        BTW it looks like a .com domain is available...

        The ROI will be pretty poor when everyone calls the stadium Owlcatraz Stadium  and nobody knows what the hell GEO Stadium is....

        "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
        I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
        ~John F. Kennedy~


        by Oldestsonofasailor on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:42:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Already happening (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama

          There's a Facebook page and a Twitter account and hashtag. All the petitions say "Stop Owlcatraz", the signs at the rallies use the name, and all the fliers being put up on campus have a picture of an owl (FAU's mascot) with its feet in handcuffs.

          "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

          by foreverblue on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:11:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent links!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leap Year

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:16:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Athletics has become... (2+ / 0-)

      More important than academics at our colleges and universities. Of course pay no attention to the athletic programs at High Schools that are taking precedence over academics and arts in order to get the student athletes ready for their college athletic career...

      An athletic scholarship is the one remaining hope of parents for a reduced price tag on their child's education without them having a government obligation to become cannon fodder in some distant wasteland that has extractable oil or, perhaps opium poppies....

      "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
      I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
      ~John F. Kennedy~


      by Oldestsonofasailor on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:13:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another culprit (7+ / 0-)

    the Republican obsession with earmarks. Many research universities depended on earmarks to fill in holes in the budget.

  •  & many schools endorse RW radio, which sells defun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ding and privatization schemes for ALEC and GOP etc.

    RW radio is probably the most effective tool the GOP and ALEC have for attacking public ed on the national and local level.

    many schools take licensing fees from the loudest RW radio stations in every state so those stations can put their sports team logos on limbaugh and hannity soapboxes and megaphones.

     the local RW blowhards also regularly attack public ed, students, funding, intellectuals, unions for the same reasons- to beat down public ed and privatize it.

    without the community standing and cred and ad money that the association between RW radio and university sports  RW radio would probably fold, and democrats could strengthen public ed.

    but there is no organized opposition from the left to take on RW radio except the limbaugh boycott and it's just going to get worse with these talk radio teabaggers obstructing everything- successfully.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:20:11 PM PDT

  •  For profit isn't helping either (7+ / 0-)

    The rising tuition from the lack of state funding, coupled with that that much of the federal funding is now being siphoned off to for profit institutions, means that the state universities which were once able to provide an affordable quality education to most of their students are stuck.  Not only are their direct funds being cut, their students are having more trouble paying the unsubsidized tuition rates.

    My graduate school's tuition for two years has set me back around $25,000.  Of that, I paid $5K out of pocket and took out a loan for the rest.  But I'm attending a very good school, and they've had tremendous success in job placement, so it's still truly an investment.

    Someone paying $25,000 for one year at a for profit institution won't heave nearly the ROI that I will hopefully see when I graduate in May.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:48:53 PM PDT

  •  Bad time to post this (16+ / 0-)

    since we're working on our budgets. We get a really fine raise of 1% this year. Hooha! And the staff is still paid 75-85% of what private industry makes -- that is the staff in administration -- not the academic end of the campus. And the electric bills have gone up, and the cost of repairs on aging buildings, and donors love to build new buildings but they don't want to pay for janitors and furniture and lightbulbs. The University has not raised my office's operating budget in over 20 years, yep that's a magnificent 39,000+ with the telephone bill alone over 15,000. What? Yep, we gotta pay rent on our phones and support for our computers and internet access, per computer (that would be 34 for our office). So, the students steal our books and vandalize the building never realizing it's a whole lot like cutting off their noses....

    But we still have good health insurance and excellent retirement plans. And I work with intelligent, compassionate, dedicated people and that's worth a whole lot.

    •  The cuts at my state institution are brutal. (11+ / 0-)

      I haven't had an office phone for years. That went long long ago. No photocopying, no office staff. You do EVERYTHING yourself, including teaching, administration, faculty governance, secretarial work, you name it.

      Everyone here is pretty much underpaid, including those "highly paid" administrators. More work to do, fewer people to do it, less money for more expenses.

      We're down about 7% on our pay since 5 years ago (furloughs and theft from our retirement and benefits brings our real wages down significantly).

    •  You get a raise? Decent health insurance? (9+ / 0-)

      You're lucky.

      I'm in my 3rd year of furloughs and about a 20% cut in pay/benefits.

      I started as a junior faculty member straight out of my Ph.D. program in 2007. Because of contractual issues, the state leg & the university could pick on junior faculty even more than classified staff much less tenured faculty.  

      I make about $600 less per month now than I did when I started here. Over the last 3 years, that totals nearly $25K in lost salary. We had decent health insurance way back then. Now, it's a $2000 deductible with 75/25 coverage after that, or as I prefer to think of it, catastrophic only coverage.

      I'm teaching more and larger classes with less support. Thank goodness for overeager undergrads who want to have the fact that they were TA on their resumes when they apply to grad school!

      Oh, did I mention that we're down a line that's been open nearly 2 years now? We can't fill it because of the crappy deal the university is forced to offer. Never you mind - get the pubs out. We can't support your research, but make sure you have at least 1 presentation a year. Travel funds? What's that?

      Add all of the above to the fact that today's students are unprepared to learn at what used to be the typical university pace (my fault, of course!).

      I'm beginning to wonder if I really want to stay in higher ed for the next 30 years of my life.

      •  I've been in higher ed at a good state research I (2+ / 0-)

        university for 21 years now.  If the Republican-controlled legislature and Board of Trustees don't move the goalposts for retirement, I plan to retire in a decade, after I've put in my 30 years.  I have to say that I love my job but I'm counting the years at this point.  

        So much has changed in the last 5 to 8 years.  We pay more for health insurance, the prescription drug list covers less, it used to be that you could use the athletic facilities for free as faculty, but now after the University built a megamillions state of the art space age athletics complex, we have to pay about 600 to 800 a year to use it.  No furloughs thank God, but multiple years in which there were no raises.  Support staff cutbacks, reductions on photocopying privileges, cutoff of supplies, etc.  

        I know we've got it better than so many other institutions, and I really appreciate the work done particularly by our Benefits administrators in trying to stanch the drainage of benefits that higher powers have been trying to impose.  But as I said, I'm counting the years 'til I get out now.  

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:25:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I know for a fact that my loan payments (7+ / 0-)

    are about a third of my monthly salary and I'm actually paying closer to 40% to try and get my debt retired

    Makes me wonder how well the economy would be doing if there wasn't a massive student debt issue.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:49:48 PM PDT

  •  the calculus is simple (6+ / 0-)

    It has two parts:

    1) The current generation in power went to college paid for by their parents, either through taxes at publics or through wealth at privates. Somehow, they came to the conclusion that college just pays for itself, so they didn't bother paying it forward to their own children--- the children can pay their own way.

    2) They rationalized making their children pay for what their parents had paid for them by saying that they would create more jobs that paid better, and the children would easily pay off any debt with these awesome jobs.  

    The plan failed when this generation didn't create the jobs (I suppose they figured jobs just create themselves without any investment in them).   Entire generations of Americans just assumed that they'd just help themselves and not worry about anyone else... and that everything would work itself out.  Not in the real world, it doesn't.  The chickens are coming home to roost.  Now, I don't think they'll learn--- these people re-elected Reagan and Bush, remember, so their problem isn't limited to running colleges into the ground.  We'll just have to wait for them all to retire or die, and pick up the rubble.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 09:22:26 PM PDT

    •  And you can prove that? (11+ / 0-)

      I thought not.

      My kid, who went to a very expensive private liberal arts college, had no debt to go along with the diploma for her BA - in fact she had a few thousand bucks in cash from us to keep her going until she found a job to support herself.

      Unfortunately, that was the summer of 2009, and there was no job at more than 10 hrs a week at minimum wage, so we supported her (mostly) for that year. Then she borrowed $44,000 to go to grad school in Scotland (actually cheaper than in the US in terms of tuition, room and board and even travel expense).

      With her master's she finally has a job that supports her - in fact two jobs, one full time with benefits, one part time - while she's getting a second master's which will make her more employable. And more indebted, although she's also paying ahead on the first loan to keep interest expenses down. Her resident tuition at the state university she attends now (rated the best in her field) is higher than what she paid as an American attending the third-ranked school (after Oxford and Cambridge) in the UK.

      The generational difference is NOT the bullshit you posted. The difference is that when I went to college the tuition - at one of the best state universities in the world (see my handle) - was $162.50 per semester. I could earn a year's tuition and books on less than my summer job income. I had a good union job, too. For my daughter to do that at the state university - the one I attended or where we live now - she couldn't have paid the tuition, room, board, and books (and books are fucking expensive, too) working all year, full time at minimum wage. That's the basic difference - the price of college in real dollars has risen substantially while incomes haven't.

      And in recent years, with real incomes flat since the 1970s, tuition increases, rising unemployment, rising expenses for health insurance even when "employer-provided" and lots of other reasons, a lot of parents can't afford the tuition burden as it exists now. Even at that, at the expensive school my daughter attended, a lot of parents we talked to were fully funding their kid's education, and a lot had financial aid.

      I'm sorry to inform you that I had my annual doctor visit today, and it appears I'm going to live a lot longer than you hope I would.

      Sucks to be you, doesn't it?

      Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

      by badger on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:13:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right on, Badger. (5+ / 0-)

        My tuition when I started at Berkeley was $64 a semester! Yeah, I'm old, but I have been fighting the evisceration of the working classes all my life. This isn't a generational issue, it's class warfare, being waged on US.

        Wag more, bark less.

        by sgrAstar on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:28:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What you fail to realize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is that your own experience, while as valuable as anyone else's, does not outweigh the collected experiences of millions of other people, the observation of which goes by the name of science.  Sure, cognitive science shows that people tend to generalize their own experience, based on the assumption that their experience is typical or normal.   It takes a lot of education to get people to do otherwise, and even then, it doesn't always work.

        I mean, it's great that your daughter graduated on the low end of the college debt scale.  I did too--- full rides and stipends to both undergrad and grad school meant I graduated totally debt-free, AND I got a secure job that would have helped me pay down any debt I would have incurred.  But to be honest, your daughter's and my own experience are simply not normal.  Abnormal, even.  We're exceptions, but exceptions don't disprove a trend.  This trend is something that needs to be repaired, but it's important to understand how we got to that point in the first place.

        It didn't come out of nowhere, it came from us.  Our leaders, elected on the demand of the people, proposed that we stop funding higher education with taxes, and have the students pay instead, on the assumption that they'll just pay it back with the awesome jobs they would get... and have increasingly failed to materialize.  Those facts are incontrovertible and the proof of them is out there, all over this site, all over everywhere, and you know that quite well.  The rest is simple deduction, based on a simple observation--- the 'generational bloc' of the people who run this country trends conservative.

        Much of that bloc, though not all of it, comes from the Baby Boomer generation, which dwarfs other demographics numerically.  A lot of the people here on this site assume that the Baby Boomer generation was liberal, because we remember the "60's" and the social changes (most of which started in the 40's and 50's, but anyways).  The fact is, though, that generation isn't liberal.  And it never was.  It trends conservative, especially economically.  There were plenty of liberals in that generation, that is true.  But they weren't a majority; they were a loud minority.  Many folks here remember otherwise, but forget that each person's own experiences weren't necessarily typical of everyone's.

        History bears out the conservative trend, and if you think about it you'll wonder why anyone ever thought otherwise.  Or do you think it's just a coincidence that as this demographic bulge came to political rights (starting in 1966), we went from the biggest Democratic landslide ever to Nixon, and have been trending ever more conservative as that generation has gained in power and prestige? That there is as much backlash from baby boomers to "feminism" and civil rights as there is from anyone else?  Do you think it's a coincidence that the apex of modern conservatism landed when Baby Boomers were in charge of things? (even Clinton was rather conservative, for a liberal)

        Even at the time, it was well-documented in poll after poll that young people supported the Vietnam War more than their parents did, and so on.  These young people grew up to vote for Reagan and Bush and form the Tea Party today.  And, this generation happily voted for policy after policy of lowering taxes and cutting support to programs that previous generations had voted to build, on the supposition that the money would make itself back up.  30 years later, we've learned that it won't.

        Where you go wrong is that you expand this trend, which is as plain as day, into something that is a universal.  That is to say, saying "this generation is conservative" doesn't mean that everyone in it is conservative.  It means that the majority of people in it are.  Thus, given the way democracy works, it behaves as a conservative group more often than not.  

         If I had said "everyone over 50 is complicit in ruining this country and I hope they all DIE!!!", your comment would have a leg to stand on.  But I didn't say that at all--- now did I?  I said that the people in charge are conservative, and given that a wealth of science shows that people don't change from conservative to liberal or vice versa (tendency, not universal!)... we can't expect change until those people are out of power, which will come when they retire (and their influence drops) or they die.  Simple as that.  I said what I meant, and any other implications--- that every boomer is conservative, or that no other generations are conservative, or that no one else is responsible for this mess we're in... those are propositions that you have inserted, not me.  You've basically put words in my mouth, which is rude.  And then you've argued against the words you put in my mouth, which is dishonest at best.    

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But yuor comment wasn't about the (0+ / 0-)

          liberal/conservative distinction between generations. You claimed:

          1) The current generation in power went to college paid for by their parents, either through taxes at publics or through wealth at privates. Somehow, they came to the conclusion that college just pays for itself, so they didn't bother paying it forward to their own children--- the children can pay their own way.

          2) They rationalized making their children pay for what their parents had paid for them by saying that they would create more jobs that paid better, and the children would easily pay off any debt with these awesome jobs.  

          I don't see where that says anything about boomers being conservative - perhaps you wrote that part in invisible ink?

          Your comment was basically that boomers ("current generation in power") had their education paid for, while they make their children pay. Which is simplistic twaddle, especially assigning "rationalization" as the cause.

          The situation, both in terms of college costs and personal economics, in 1967-1973 when I was in college vs. now or the last 15-20 years is substantially different. You take none of that into account.

          It's obvious you don't like boomers and look forward to the time when they're all dead. It's an opinion you're entitled to, but no amount of handwaving about boomers being conservative or liberal will validate it (the variation in levels of conservatism/liberalism by generation is small and not consistent across issues nor are issue stances on a liberal-conservative scale the same over time).

          As to me putting words in your mouth, you don't even seem to be capable of responding to what you yourself said in an earlier comment, and I'm not interested in your 'defense by changing the subject' mode of discussion.

          If you have evidence to support what I quoted in the blockquote above, post it.

          Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

          by badger on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:23:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  and my state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, Jeffersonian Democrat

    doesn't allow us to raise tuition more than the rate of inflation, no matter how much they take out of what they are providing to us.  It is our fault, you see.

  •  More on administration costs (4+ / 0-)

    They are obscene

    Here's a quote from one of many articles

    “Between 1993 and 2007,” they write, “the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research, or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student grew by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent.”

    Anyone familiar with American higher education has been at least vaguely aware that more and more administrators have been hired over the last two decades, often to fill new offices such as “Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

    Schools ranging from large public universities to small private colleges responded to The Chronicle’s survey and reported an array of data. Looking at the figures for average salaries for administrators and for full-time faculty members, it’s hard not to be surprised at the disparity. Here are some representative examples:

    Abilene Christian University: administrators--$155,480; faculty--$61,029.

    Athens State University: administrators--$113,199; faculty--$69,608.

    Blue Ridge Community College: administrators--$79,487; faculty--$57,179.

    Centre College: administrators--$96,241; faculty--$66,250.

    Emory University: administrators--$152,380; faculty--$95,274.

    There are, to be sure, some schools where average faculty salaries exceed average administrative salaries, such as George Mason University, Duke, Harvard, and the University of Michigan.  Of the schools listed in the report, those where administrators are paid more than faculty members were four times as common as those where the reverse is true.

    by chloris creator on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:54:18 AM PDT

  •  I understand the increase in tuition and public (5+ / 0-)

    universities being affected by cuts in state money. What about increases at private universities?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:15:03 AM PDT

  •  why are private schools (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattc129, worldlotus

    raising tuition then?
    just to keep pace?

    If you aren't outraged, you are an idiot

    by indefinitelee on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:26:55 AM PDT

  •  I heard on Morning Joe, a few days ago, (8+ / 0-)

    that most of the western world,

    offers "Free Education" to prepare people for life,

    -- and speaker went on to make the point,

    because most of the western world does not spend a major part of its resources on the Machinery of War.

    There is a cost to being Number 1 (in Military Might),

    -- being Number 23 in Math,

    Number 19 in Science Literacy.

    etc. etc.

    •  There are some things to consider. (8+ / 0-)

      First, the ranking internationally is not necessarily a good indicator.  Many other countries limit the children who actually end up taking those exams that are compared.  It isn't that they are trying to game - it is part of the educational process.  Whereas in the US - all children are in the same bucket.  Out top students are very comparable to top students around the world.  

      Also, when you look at other countries educational systems - particularly at access to higher Ed you will see that access is limited.  If your student doesn't score well on the right tests at an early age it is not likely that they will see that free university education.

      A friend of mine had an interesting experience with his family recently.  They were living temporarily in Europe and their kids attended school during that year.  The first experience was that the expectation was that his kids were going to be dumb.  Why? Because all you hear in the US media is how bad our schools are.  His kids are actually very bright.  So that led to the second little issue.  His kids ended up at the very top of the rankings.  This rankled folks because the way the schools were structured - his kids filled slots that other students would have and it potentially effected their future opportunities.

      So comparisons are misleading.  But the bottom line is our higher Ed costs are out of control.  The answer might not be the European free education model but could it not be a hybridized version?

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:44:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, something that really needs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sgrAstar, Aspe4, Neon Mama, worldlotus

    to be part of the conversation at the national level.

    You said the air was singing / it's calling you, you don't believe / These things you've never seen / Never heard, never dreamed.

    by CayceP on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:55:04 AM PDT

  •  In addition to admininistrative costs (5+ / 0-)

    health insurance costs are a huge problem for universities.  You can only cut so many people; education requires lots of teachers.  With health insurance skyrocketing since the 1980s, much faster than inflation, tuition has to go up to cover the increased health insurance cost, while at the same time receiving less aid from the states.  

    The changes in the health care law should help in slowing down tuition increases, but universal access to medicare (universal coverage, single payer) would be even better.

  •  the problem existed before 2008 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, Jeffersonian Democrat

    but it is now out of control.

    lack of state funding is driving the costs through the roof for state institutions.

    none of the administrators have a clue what to do because they are not problem solvers and there is not a jot of creativity in any of them.

    but in the end, schools can't run on air.

    the 1% want the colleges and universities to die, especially the humanities.

    they will preserve science, engineering and business, but that is it.

    and this process is quite far along.  quite far.

    students can't afford their degrees and faculty can't keep their jobs.  this is just the reality.

    those of you who think incremental progress is enough need to look at this situation among dozens of others.

    in the past few months, i have become convinced that it is over for our civilization.  really over.

    •  All public universities could be free (3+ / 0-)

      This article from March 8 describes how the federal government could make public universities tuition free with what it already spend on higher education.  Yes, it would mean less assistance for private schools, so I'm sure the repugs wouldn't go for it, but it could certainly help the future student debt problem.  I guess in a way it's kind of like when Obama took the middle man (banks) out the the federally guaranteed student loan program.

  •  Well, why not. States are defunding Planned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, BlueDragon

    Parenthood. This state level disinvestment makes perfect sense when you accept that that Paul Krugman Called it years ago. That the GOP is a revolutionary force intent on tearing this nation down in order to remake it in their own image.

    What is their biggest enemy? Authentic Education.

    They take that cash away and give it to the Bible Colleges, and their problems are solved. Regular people can no longer afford to go to college without incurring massive debt, and that gives Bible Colleges the ability to compete on a monetary level, even if the education they offer is substandard, tin foil hat claptrap at best.

  •  Seems to me there will be an Education Bubble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, Sparhawk

    that will burst one day. People will decide that it's not worth it to go to college anymore because of the high cost. On the other hand, the federal government is still providing loans to so the bubble may not burst for a long time. Without federal loans, our college system would collapse.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:59:00 AM PDT

  •  Once again, state sovereignty rears its evil head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, MPociask

    Remind me once again why there are 51 sovereign government in our “united” states? Why among many other things, each of these relatively larger or smaller regions must go it alone, with their own tax structure, their own education system, etc., etc.?

    Oh, to protect the property rights of slaveowners against the rising tide of abolitionism? Ah, OK, well, carry on then.

  •   "No frills" University (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, Ramoth

    Many genuine causes of rising tuition and student debt have been cited above. Decline of state funding is certainly a major factor.
      As a retired college prof, however, I would add that students have come to expect many more frills with their education, and that costs money. UNLV, where I taught for 10 years, featured state of the arts electronic game rooms and hi tech fitness center. When I visited my son at U Mass, the student dining hall rivaled a Las Vegas "feast buffet."
      I wonder how a "no frills" U would fare:
    1. No intercollegiate sports teams, just intramural leagues. Especially no big-time football, higher education's largest blood-sucking parasite
    2. Spartan dorms, bunking 3 to a room with bathroom down the hall (as when I was an undergrad in the sixties).
    3. Track and swimming pool, sure, but no state of the art fitness center, much less electronic gaming center
    4. Cafeterias just a few steps up from public high school fare
    5. An undergraduate, teaching focus, and egalitarian pay scale with faculty offered term contracts of gradually increasing length. U. could be affilated with a research institution, but with entirely separate budgets.
    6. Fewer specialized counselors and paper pushers.
    7. Dramatically lower tuition costs.
       Would anyone attend? I think it might be a viable alternative to loads of student debt or the for-profit internet semi-scams.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:34:49 AM PDT

  •  Education is cheaper than incarceration... (0+ / 0-)

    both is dollar costs and human suffering.  A year at Harvard costs taxpayers less than a year in prison --- and we aren't sentenced to paying it for life.  Prevention vs. cure.

    Another dumb cost factor is outrageous speaking fees paid to idiots like Coulter, Gingrich, Bush, etc.      Why waste cash to have crooks propagandize students?  

    We also need to count the ridiculous waste of hiring used up politicians and political tacticians at Universities --- to keep them fed between election campaigns  -- with little or no benefit to students.   It is something like the revolving door between fake charity gigs and out of work politicos, industry jobs for former regulators, and stink bank employment to write more garbage to support lousy faked science/economic/and female reproductive theories.

    Yes, I'm still steamed that University of South Florida, where I graduated looong ago, paid Coulter to speak AFTER she had admitted to felonies of giving false address on both her Florida driver's license and voter registration.    And SHE wasn't prosecuted for either.    Wonder what students "learned" from this fiasco?

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:06:33 AM PDT

  •  Been doing the college visits... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phatcat cane, worldlotus, Ramoth

    ...with my teenage nephew. One thing that stands out to me is that room and board is more expensive than tuition at a number of the public colleges/universities we have visited. Twenty years ago, we all lived in modest two person rooms and shared bathrooms down the hall. Today, apartment style residences are prominent and cost twice as much as the (at a couple of schools we visited) limited number of traditional dorms. One school bragged about the expensive desserts and other items catered into their cafeterias which no doubt drives up board costs. Then there are the quite luxurious fitness facilities with full time paid personal trainers and other perks. I've been to spas that are not as nice.

    When did college become a luxury resort? And why is no one acknowledging that this is part of the cost problem?

    •  You're spot on (0+ / 0-)

      People try to lay the blame on For-Profit Universities.  They deserve some of it but a lot of it is jacking up room and board and fees.  Also building lavish non-academic student unions, recreation facilities and sports stadiums.  The universities take on debt to pay for those facilities and put it right in the tuition which is paid for by debt.  

      The problem will be when the kids stop paying, and I think we're already starting to see the beginnings of that happening.  The first story I read last year was schools digging into their Wait Lists to fill spots along with a 42% drop in enrollment at University of Phoenix.  A few months ago, I read about schools slowing their tuition increases to attract new students.  I believe we're seeing similar patterns as the housing bubble.

      If student loan lending tightens, enrollment will drop.  Universities have long depending on expanded enrollment to keep up with their ballooning fixed-cost investments (buildings, tenured professors, administrators) so when the enrollment drops, they will try to spike the tuition to compensate.  If that happens, enrollment will drop again. Pretty soon we'll see Colleges' faced with bankruptcy.  The Private and for-profit schools may disappear.  The public schools may get bailed out.

    •  I work at a public U (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, worldlotus

      and the dorms aren't any nicer than they were 30 years ago.  Two beds per room and a bathroom shared between four or so rooms is still the standard on our campus.  yeah, the food is better.  Thank god,  a year of dorm food was all I could stand.

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:25:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We only... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...visited public colleges and universities. This trend is not confined to private or for-profit school.  I have nothing against improving the food but catering in gourmet dessert three times a week seems a bit much. We have concluded that nephew's choices are narrowed to those schools where he can live at home or with his grandparents. He is terribly upset by this, but it is just reality unless he wants to be saddled with a mountain of debt. Unfortunately, the latter seems like a good idea to an 18 year old who just wants that whole college experience.

        •  I don't know where you are (0+ / 0-)

          but you might look at "best buy" universities.  My own is on that, and tuition and room and board are cheaper than tuition alone at most east coast universities (the public ones --- a year at a place like Harvard is the cost of a four year at my own university).  And there are a lot of scholarships and work study programs that help offset expenses.  Yeah, there isn't a big city to play in, but the plays and lectures are all free, and concerts are less than $20 when people come to play.

          •  Actually... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...leaving the state would mean way higher tuition. No question about that. Resident tuition is much lower than most places here, it is room, board and fees that are a killer. By not paying room and board, with a free place to live and food provided willingly by grandparents who live ten minutes from the campus, he can go for less than $6000 a year. He should qualify for about $2000 worth of grant aid at that school so that my brother can transfer child support money he pays now to paying for college without feeling too much pain. We just have to convince him. A tuition scholarship he received and paying over $13,000 in room and board at a small public college seems like a better idea to him. His mom's wise mantra is "he can get loans for the room and board". Because that is a great idea for his future.

  •  The diarist is right, but the problem goes much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mali muso, worldlotus

    deeper than apparently endless budget cuts and tuition hikes.

    Please be patient, but these are the facts that very few state and federal policymakers even understand:

    The priorities of higher education are NOT focused on undergraduates, but rather, are on those areas that generate faculty and institutional prestige -- graduate and research programs.  But while state’s definitely like the benefits that graduate and research programs bring, they have NO IDEA what these programs actually cost, and would be highly unlikely to fund them if they did.

    Instead, most states fund enrollments in public universities on a “marginal enrollment” model, where additional funds are added to a base budget, allocated for marginal average changes in enrollment -- without regard to level of instruction.  So, “SW Anystate University” may get $25,000 in additional funds for one new student on the margin, whether that student is a freshmen English student (actual cost of instruction $8,000) or a junior biochemistry student (actual cost of instruction $20,000), or a PhD engineering student (actual cost of instruction $200,000). Simply stated, with marginal enrollment funding, lower division undergraduates are the cash cows, whose state funding massively subsidizes more advanced programs that the state would be unlikely to fund if they knew the real costs. And over time, public colleges and universities have deliberately built funding formulas that obscure these costs to state and federal policymakers, for exactly that reason.

    The keys are student/faculty ratios.  Many years ago at the University of California, for example, in addition to the “base budget,” plus inflation adjustments, 1 new FTE faculty (plus admin overhead allowances) was funded by the state to the University for every 17.6 additional students, regardless of the level of instruction of those students. While in reality, ACTUAL student/faculty ratios IN THE CLASSROOM are more like this:

    Lower Division Undergraduate: 100:1
    Upper Division Undergraduate: 30:1
    Masters Degree Instruction: 14:1
    PhD Instruction: 6:1

    Clearly, state funding for undergraduates, and now the tuition paid by those undergraduates, are massively subsidizing graduate level instruction at colleges and universities across America. Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in the worthiness of massive subsidies for advanced education and research. I just don’t believe it should be financed by a massive wealth redistribution program between (1) millions of undergraduates, many of whom are financing their education by taking on massive debt to pay for far more than they’re receiving in 200 seat lecture halls, and (2) thousands of PhD students who, while also suffering huge tuition hikes, are still not paying anything close to the true costs of their instruction (nor should they).

    And private colleges and universities go along, because the more they raise tuition, the more federal financial aid their students qualify for. There is ZERO motivation for cost-control if the government is just going to take whatever the posted tuition is at a private college and define that as a students’ budget, or “need.”  And a good deal of these tuition hikes for undergraduates at private colleges goes to finance in-house financial aid for their needy classmates (yet another internal wealth redistribution program), as well as to subsidize the higher costs of their own graduate programs.

    And this is how it works when the system is funded and working as designed!  

    During times of budget cuts it’s the undergraduates, again, who take the hit. Because institutional prestige relies on (1) the “quality” of graduate programs, (2) research $$$ that’s attracted, and (3) the research accolades of the faculty, these programs are protected at all costs during tough times. Conversely, budget shortfalls are generally met by tuition hikes, larger undergraduate class size and greater reliance on part-time faculty and non-tenure track “lecturers.” Undergraduate course sections are cut, but enrollment isn't, which increases undergraduate time-to-degree and the consequent student debt load. But other than the political fallout, as long as institutions are still getting paid in their base budgets for these 5th (and sometimes 6th) years seniors, they still enjoy the graduate program subsidy and colleges don’t have much of an incentive to get these undergrads graduated.  The reliance on bitter, underpaid, overworked graduate students to carry out increasing shares of undergraduate instruction has been a problem for decades, but has now become legendary on some campuses.

    Like the medical care system, our system for funding higher education is utterly broken, both for public universities and private institutions that are still massively subsidized by the federal financial aid system. And tragically, the band-aids slapped on the system over the years has tended to increase the burdens on those least able to pay -- lower division undergrads who are most likely to be low income, 1st generation college going, and from historically underrepresented backgrounds. And as usual, the interests that get protected, while valuable in their own right, are still the privileged interests -- tenured faculty, high administrative pay, and the uber-expensive PhD and research programs.

    Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead

    by The Knute on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 11:12:22 AM PDT

  •  What about federal spending? (0+ / 0-)

    Whether through direct grants or guaranteed loans, federal spending has grown and grown.  As someone else posted, with "free" money available for a degree, schools can raise their rates proportionately, and as long as students are willing to take on the loans, the prices go up.  Take away the guaranteed government loans, make folks get private loans, and this problem goes away.

    Of course, then there is the problem of someone majoring in psychology or anthropology, versus chemistry or computer science, and the former's ability to pay back those loans in a reasonable time. However, using statistics, and not unlike our current car insurance fee calculations, a model would be developed for all majors.  So, if someone wants a sociology degree, that's great, but don't be surprised if it costs a bit more than one in physics.

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