ERIC Number: ED378906
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jan-5
Investing in American Higher Education: An Argument for Restructuring.
Eaton, Judith S.
This background paper examines the current state of higher education finance--the scope of the higher education enterprise, challenges to its funding base, and undesirable consequences of current financing practices--and describes what is meant by a "restructuring" of higher education finance. It demonstrates that the structures and practices embodied in current higher education finance are neither meeting public needs nor supporting higher education's capacity to act in the public interest. The paper begins with data on current enrollments, revenues, expenditures, and credentials. Challenges to the financial base are noted, including diminishing public support, limitations of private resources, voluntary giving which is not expected to replace public subsidies, increasing proportions of ethnic groups that have lower college participation rates, and criticism of American higher education quality. Undesired consequences of current financing arrangements are identified, such as financing education through debt, diminished public investment which undercuts public influence, stratification of opportunity, and a growing mismatch between corporate investment and higher education's needs. Restructuring is defined as "a serious rethinking of higher education's resources, uses, and expected results." It is seen as a means to address the way in which higher education might be financed, how higher education uses the funds it receives, and what the public and policymakers expect higher education to do. (Contains 38 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Degrees (Academic), Educational Finance, Educational Trends, Enrollment, Expenditures, Finance Reform, Financial Policy, Higher Education, Income, Long Range Planning, Resource Allocation, Trend Analysis
Council for Aid to Education, 342 Madison Ave., Suite 1532, New York, NY 10173 (free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Council for Aid to Education, New York, NY.