Wednesday, May 01, 2019

I Know How To Solve The College Cost Problem!

First, the problem:
When it comes to preaching financial savvy to college students forking over considerable cash for school, the “back in my day” argument doesn’t apply.

Working hard and living at home can only go so far in staving off debt for today’s students because of steep fee increases that have unfolded over the past 40 years, according to the California Budget and Policy Center determined in a recent data analysis.

The center adjusted 1979 college tuition and fees for inflation and found the cost of attending a University of California school is six times greater than 40 years ago. A year at UC today costs $14,400, up from an inflation-adjusted $2,200 in 1979.
Let's look at administrative bloat.  Let's look at the cost of "diversity" initiatives.  Here in California, let's factor in illegal immigrants, just for fun.  Let's look at the amenities that schools generally didn't have in 1979 that they have today--the ever-popular rock-climbing walls, the buffet meals, "free" wi-fi.  Do the dorms look anything like what they looked like in 1979?

I'm not convinced that "inflation-adjusted dollars" captures the entire issue.  But I'll play along, let's start cutting the diversity offices and so-called Bias Response Teams.  Oh, and students?  Quit voting for higher fees! (I'm talking to you, UC Davis Aggies, who have voted yourselves the highest fees in the UC system.)  And maybe schools shouldn't accept students who need remedial math or English work--so those students won't have to worry about the cost of a CSU/UC degree and can go to community college instead (where lesser-prepared students belong).

Any other ideas?


David said...

If the schools were a lot more restrictive and states reduced the number of colleges, it would be cheaper in the long run. For example: there are 23 Cal State schools with some schools as high as 39000 students. If let's just say the university didn't accept all 39,000 students but only 20,000 students, that would be more state grants and other state money to each of those other students.
If you have fewer students, that means fewer teachers, administrators, janitors, police, etc needed for that school. It would also mean fewer classroom buildings and dorms needed for that school.

Pseudotsuga said...

The colleges need skin in the game-- rather than "butts in seats" = $$, they need to have graduation be the measure.

lgm said...

Number and percentage of administrators
Inclusion staff
IT infrastructure - even without wifi,the computing demands are much higher
Health center -- does a lot more than bandaid/aspirin/transfer to local hospital
more mandated staff - you listed some, there is even Veteran staffing now

lack of taxpayer willingness to invest in students is a biggie, my state engineering college is essentially crowdfunding undergrad scholarship dollars now as the majority of our population is voting along the 'i got mine' party line.

SoCalMike said...

Get the government out of the money-lending business. Make the schools be the lender. This will entice them to lower costs, and be more competitive with other schools.

lgm said...

College would also be less needed if K12 was funded enough to offer more than the common core minimum. In my day, math after Algebra 2 was not 'pay to play', it was part of the regular course offerings. Here we are seeing nonurm middle class and poverty students take no math after 10th grade Alg 2, instead waiting for the financial aid that comes with college admission.(there is private funding for urm students). And of course, without the college prep offerings in high school, the Associate's Degree is necessary just to get the students communicating at the adult level for their career demands. The dumb down has major consequences, as middle class people now have to pay out of pocket for what used to be 11th and 12th grade college prep.