ERIC Number: ED494534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
The dramatic rise in university tuition costs is placing a greater financial burden on millions of college-bound Americans and their families. Yet only a fraction of the additional money colleges are collecting--twenty-one cents on the dollar--goes toward instruction. And, by many measures, colleges are doing a worse job of educating Americans. Why are we spending more--and getting less? In "Going Broke by Degree," economist Richard Vedder examines the causes of the college tuition crisis. He warns that exorbitant tuition hikes are not sustainable, and explores ways to reverse this alarming trend. Vedder's research demonstrates that America's universities have become less productive, less efficient, and more likely to use tuition money and state and federal grants to subsidize noninstructional activities such as athletics. These factors combine to produce dramatic hikes in tuition, making it more difficult for Americans to afford college. Vedder believes that competition from for-profit universities (the fastest growing sector in higher education), computer-based distance learning, and nonuniversity certification of skills can be a powerful force for needed change. He suggests that possible solutions to the tuition crisis include modifying tenure, increasing teaching loads, paring administrative staffs, increasing distance learning, and cutting costly noneducational programs. He also suggests even more dramatic changes, including transforming state grants to universities into student voucher programs, as well as other steps to increase privatization of state universities. The book is divided into three parts and 11 sections. Part I, The Problem, contains: (1) The Cost Explosion; (2) Why Are Universities Inefficient and Costly?; (3) Productivity Decline and Rent-Seeking; and (4) The New Peculiar Institution. Part II, Have Our Universities Lost Their Way?, then presents: (5) American Higher Education: Past and Present; (6) Why Do We Need Universities: First Principles of Higher Education; and (7) Universities and Society. Part III, Solutions: The Future of American Higher Education, contains: (8) New Alternatives to Traditional Higher Education; (9) Evolutionary Change on the Campus: One Scenario; (10) An Alternative Scenario: Systemic Reform; and (11) The Future of the American University. Notes and an index conclude the book.
Descriptors: Paying for College, Higher Education, State Universities, Grants, Educational Change, Costs, Teaching Load, Privatization, Distance Education, Tuition, Educational Finance, College Bound Students, Student Costs, Tenure, Competition, Educational Administration, College Athletics, Extracurricular Activities, State Aid, Educational History, College Role, Futures (of Society), Educational Trends, Nontraditional Education
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site: http://www.aei.org
Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Inst. for Public Policy Research, Washington, DC.