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Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs
January 15, 2009 1:07 PM   Subscribe

The Delta Project recently released a new report on Trends in College Spending. The NYTimes summarizes.
posted by SeizeTheDay (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
[previously]
posted by symbollocks at 1:23 PM on January 15, 2009


Didn't the Senate look at forcing universities to pay a fixed percentage of their endowment annually, like foundations have to? Did anything come of that? Most of university assets are held by a small group of Ivy League and elite schools. Yet they educate only a fraction of college students. Seems inherently unfair.
posted by up in the old hotel at 1:35 PM on January 15, 2009


We're deep in the middle of the whole college choice ordeal with our daughter and the expense of college is unbelievable. Breathtaking, really. It truly is a horribly expensive, opaque, complex and broken system that seems to exist only to drive students to the private loan market, since government loans can't even begin to make-up the difference left from whatever scholarship money the student is lucky to find.

The idea that kids fresh out of high school can adequately understand the depth of debt they are about to agree to is facetious on it's face. Seriously...we don't allow 18-year-olds to buy beer but we're perfectly cool with them taking-on tens-of-thousands-of-dollars of variable-rate debt? And we string-along their parents by requiring them to co-sign. All while floating that whole "college education will add millions to your lifetime income" mirage in their faces.

And then we castigate them and their parents for...taking on debt??? Debt, by the way, that cannot ever be forgiven, even in case of bankruptcy. Nice legislation, that.

I guess, if anything, the process certainly does drive-home the very valuable lesson that the only thing that really, truly matters, and will ever truly matter, is money.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:35 PM on January 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


The trouble is, if the government gives everyone, say, $10,000 in tax credits and subsidized loans to help cover the cost of tuition, then every college can raise their tuition by $10,000 without losing any students. And they pretty much do.

I wonder if this is one of those things, like health care, that every other civilized country in the world seems to be able to figure out out but us… Looks like.
posted by designbot at 2:05 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The universities with the largest endowments are private schools and they have lost a bundle in their portfolios during this economic downturn. What seldom gets mentioned: increasingly college presidents get salaries of over a million dollars, salaries that were unheard of but a few years ago. And while this is going on, faculty costs decrease because of more and more hiring of part-timers and use of grad students.

What gets some people aroused is the simple fact that tuitition has risen yearly well above the rise in cost of living. And no explanation is given.
posted by Postroad at 2:11 PM on January 15, 2009


The trouble is, if the government gives everyone, say, $10,000 in tax credits and subsidized loans to help cover the cost of tuition, then every college can raise their tuition by $10,000 without losing any students. And they pretty much do.

When everyone is expected to go to college, colleges can charge more or less whatever they please. Parents will pay, if they can, and students will borrow, if they can.

The only realistic downward pressure at this point is coming from credit availability. Credit companies are refusing private loans to students at greater rates.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 PM on January 15, 2009


increasingly college presidents get salaries of over a million dollars, salaries that were unheard of but a few years ago.

They have to keep up with the football coaches, don't they?

What gets some people aroused is the simple fact that tuitition has risen yearly well above the rise in cost of living. And no explanation is given.

The same can be said for healthcare and health insurance as well. One simply cannot shake the feeling that powerful people have laid claim to every spare penny in consumer's pockets and are showing absolutely no shame in their ministrations to take said pennies. It's so baldfaced and maddening.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:29 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The idea that kids fresh out of high school can adequately understand the depth of debt they are about to agree to is facetious on it's face. Seriously...we don't allow 18-year-olds to buy beer but we're perfectly cool with them taking-on tens-of-thousands-of-dollars of variable-rate debt? And we string-along their parents by requiring them to co-sign.

College tuition is crazy, no doubt. But really, there is a right way and a wrong way to educate yourself if you don't come from money and don't have the means to pay for your undergrad with no strings attached. And frankly, these co-signing parents you speak of should know better. And so should you, even at 18. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

The fact of the matter is that it really doesn't matter where you do your undergrad work. You can get a great education at a good institution without paying in excess of $6000 a year. And you can work a lot of that off during the school year, and graduate with little to no debt.

Once you are a bit more seasoned, you can choose your grad school, where a tens-of-thousands-of-dollars investment actually comes with a serious ROI attached, and where you are more inclined to understand the depth of the debt you are taking on AND have a plan to repay it.
posted by fusinski at 2:31 PM on January 15, 2009


Ivies gain their endowments from their students for supporting their students. No one would ever ask that they pay for other universities. I think the idea was merely that endowments be used now.

I assure you any money that individual departments see will get spent on either research or teaching, or both, or immediate support staff. The problem however is the massive bureaucracy outside the individual departments. You can solve this for state universities by passing laws that temporarily increase departmental budgets, reduce the take from research grants, and freeze tuition increases and state support. I assure you they'll find numerous totally useless bureaucrats that no one thinks about cutting normally.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:56 PM on January 15, 2009


fusinski: Once you are a bit more seasoned, you can choose your grad school, where a tens-of-thousands-of-dollars investment actually comes with a serious ROI attached, and where you are more inclined to understand the depth of the debt you are taking on AND have a plan to repay it.

Paying for graduate school? Look, if you're paying for grad school then you're doing it wrong. People should pay you to go do graduate research at their school, and if you can't find a fit or get funded, then you might not be the right person to be in graduate school.
posted by barnacles at 3:02 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


barnacles, I think fusinki meant postgraduate professional schools, not academic grad programs.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:06 PM on January 15, 2009


Right.
posted by fusinski at 7:53 PM on January 15, 2009


Does "postgraduate professional schools" mean JD, MD, or MBA? I'm not sure any other grad programs are both funded by you and deliver significant ROI. Well, JD doesn't get the ROI and neither JD or MD are "seasoned" choices, so you must be talking MBA, which is completely bullshit but proves you give a damn.

School ROI is dirt simple : If your not science, math, or engineering, then your degree has very little knowledge value, but merely identifies fields that hold your interests. If you don't offer value from either knowledge or interests, then you'll have considerable difficulty making money. You shouldn't rack up debt if you'll have considerably difficulty making money. I suppose we'll eventually tie loans to progress & major but this will decrease the university's value from sorting students.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:10 PM on January 15, 2009


Don't forget, however, the value of the contacts & social network you build up at school. Jobs, mates, friends, and clients can all come out of your college years.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:21 AM on January 16, 2009


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