Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is Taxpayer Support For College A "Public Good"?

It's been accepted as Gospel for almost 50 years now, since California's Master Plan For Education was first published, that it's good for California to have affordable higher education available to everyone, that California benefits (presumably financially) from its "investment" in higher education--that would be the billions provided to the University of California, California State University, and Community College systems each year.

But what if it's not true?
Who Wins? Who Pays? The Economic Returns and Costs of a Bachelor’s Degree finds clear winners: Bachelor’s degree holders get a good return on their investment. But taxpayers can be losers, the report concludes. Including public subsidies, tax breaks and government aid to students, taxpayers spend more than they get back for bachelor’s degrees earned at public and private nonprofit institutions; only for-profit colleges turn a profit for the taxpayers.
Definitely worth a read, especially in these budget-cutting times.

1 comment:

allen (in Michigan) said...

Depends on how you define "public".

If you're a college administrator or some other non-teaching staffer then "hell ya". If you're not then not so much.

Market manipulation's like any other addictive drug, sooner or later you've got to up the dose to get the same effect. A failure or refusal to consider long-term consequences doesn't prevent those long-term consequences from occurring and that's what we're running into now.