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ERIC Number: ED536491
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Over Invested and over Priced: American Higher Education Today
Vedder, Richard
Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1)
The prevailing view among leaders in the university community is that America is not investing enough in higher education. A recent survey of the American economy by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) echoed that concern. After all, college graduates are dramatically more productive than those without higher education preparation, and America is falling behind other nations in the proportion of the adult population with college degrees. National competitiveness and economic well-being are at risk, or so it is argued. The conventional wisdom downplays the concerns about rising costs, particularly soaring tuition fees. One argument is that the cost explosion is an illusion: "net tuition fees" have risen less dramatically than gross tuition fees (published rates). Americans think college costs are greater than they really are. Yet the author thinks most of these arguments are flawed, even downright wrong. An excellent case can be made that Americans are "over invested" in universities, that too many students attend school, that much of their investment is wasted. Moreover, the rise in costs--to society, to taxpayers, and especially to consumers--is excessive, and has been made more so by well meaning but inappropriate public policies. The law of unintended consequences looms large in any discussion of America's colleges and universities. In this paper, the author discusses why universities are overpriced and provides 12 reasons for rising prices.
Center for College Affordability and Productivity. 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street NW Suite L 26, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-621-0536; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP)
Identifiers - Location: United States