I’m getting increasingly frustrated with WordPress. Apparently it ate my last post.
Anyway, excerpt from the article:
“A lot of schools are being, frankly, unimaginative,” Farish said. “It’s abundantly clear that the rising costs of the past 20 years have collided with the economic realities. At the risk of indicting an entire industry, I think we’ve been kind of lazy in our thinking. We always just pass on the costs to students and their families.”
Ding, ding, ding.
Even after the reading I’ve done about American higher ed., I still do not understand the American education system. I understand it even less after having lived abroad (which is not to say that other countries get it right, either…). How we apportion costs is completely out of whack– American universities are bloated and ridiculous. $50K tuition (or whatever it is now at private universities) is unsustainable. Essentially, the system they’ve laid out is to set a high base price for those who can afford it (or those who can’t and have to take out loans to when they don’t qualify for grants) and cut that price for those who qualify on their FAFSAs. The price is not real and it’s not sensitive to supply and demand. The market for college education is too distorted by loan money and inelastic demand– universities are not sensitive enough to market forces because there’s a steady supply of cash (ie. federal loan money) to let them charge whatever costs they like.
I’m conflicted because I understand universities are trying to cut costs, and cutting costs generally affects staff/professors. I’m especially sensitive to it now that I have a partner trying to get into the academic job market.
But even now, I don’t think I want my kids going to an American university if the situation remains as it is. I will find a way to send them abroad (or to a cheaper school here, maybe). It just makes no sense to me: if I have the choice of paying $200K for a university education or giving them the $200K (to hopefully invest wisely or be entrepreneurial with or something)…I’ll choose the latter.
Anyway, I have a lot of feelings about American higher ed. schools (rape culture, classism, whatever), so I’ll just stop here. Plus, I don’t remember enough about economics, but I *feel* like I’m on the right track here, haha.
Interesting article. 🙂