Is the American Dream of Affordable College Dying?

My college education at a good public university cost about $1000 A YEAR OR $4000 for FOUR YEARS. My parents could put four kids through college and none graduated with debt. That same public university education currently costs $25,000 a year, or $100,000 for four years. No wonder Americans are angry, with a sense that the American Dream is dying and their social contract has changed, without their permission or acquiescence. So of course they are wondering who to blame.

I posted this to Facebook and got lots of comments from friends who agree. Click. 

One friend, a conservative, pointed to a NYT column that explained why this has happened:

The author cited, by my count, five reasons costs have exploded:

1) A lot more people are going to college, 50% more than in 1995;

2) state government funding has increased, but has not kept pace per student;

3) State funding has been cut by $5.6 billion since 2009, due to declining state revenues from the Great Recession;

4) Pell Grants have grown from $10 billion in 2000 to $30 billion+ in 2015. This shifts some college costs onto the federal government.

5) Faculty salaries are no higher than they were in 1970, and most colleges hire adjuncts for compensation much lower than in 1970. But high-paid administrators increased by between 60 percent or 221 percent by 2008/2009. Some administrators are paid seven figures.

6) Another friend pointed out that many colleges, for competitive reasons, believe they must have expansive athletic programs and state-of-the-art facilities which are not particularly cost-effective. Those costs are passed on to students in higher tuition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: