Why does college cost so much?

George K
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September 13th, 2018, 12:21 am #1

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/a ... ca/569884/
College is not the only service to have gotten wildly more expensive in recent decades, Feldman and Archibald point out. Since 1950, the real prices of the services of doctors, dentists, and lawyers have risen at similar rates as the price of higher education, according to Feldman and Archibald’s book. “The villain, as much as there is one, is economic growth itself,” they write.

This all makes sense, if we just focus on the U.S. But what about the rest of the world? These broader economic trends exist there, too. So why does college still cost half as much, on average, in other countries?
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xenon
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September 13th, 2018, 12:31 am #2

How much does guaranteed/subsidized access to loans play a part in this? (I don't know - seems like it might be substantial)

Universities seem like they're in a bit of a useless building spree.

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Rainman
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September 13th, 2018, 1:17 am #3

It would be interesting to find a timeline graph, depicting faculty/student ratios, number of TA's, adjunct, associate, assistant and full professors (disaggregated), as well as numbers of administrators, support staff, and probably a whole lot more in terms of human costs.

Then, respective State appropriations for the public universities, grants, capital construction/matching grants, etc.

In the 1960's, there were many "Hilltop Colleges" that went out of business. The times are different, but given the costs and the growing concern for useless degrees (potential income vs. debt), I think there will be a rapid downward spiral, forcing smaller institutions out. Technology will also be part of the restructuring of higher education. I love to state the obvious, as if I just figured it out.
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Klaus
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September 13th, 2018, 7:22 am #4

When I teach the introduction to computer science, I often have 600-700 students in the classroom.
At a US university, that number would be closer to 60-70.

Will the students learn more in a class of 60 than in a class of 600? Yes, but not by much. Education is, like many things in life, an 80/20 situation.

At an elite US university, professors spend maybe 10% of their time on teaching. Here it is closer to 20%. Yes, this may scare off a few superstar professors, but it saves tons of money.
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Jolly
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September 13th, 2018, 11:35 am #5

I attended a small liberal arts college in a small Southern town. Salaries weren't astronomical for the profs, but the cost of living was pretty low. It was understood that when you hired on, you didn't have to publish and your job would be teaching - no graduate assisstants.

Maybe you might not see much difference between a class of 60 and 600, but try a class of 12 with everything taught by the head of a department.

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Copper
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September 13th, 2018, 4:25 pm #6

The Jesuits worked for room and board.

Not many left now.
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Jolly
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September 13th, 2018, 5:47 pm #7

Copper wrote: The Jesuits worked for room and board.

Not many left now.
Ok, how about this for a radical proposal...We're a little liberal arts college with a nice endowment. We'll pay off your student loans and give you a nice cottage on campus to live in. We'll pay you $45K/year. You owe us ten years, performance reviews and possible raises at 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. 

Think there would be any bites?
The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.- George Soros
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Rainman
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September 13th, 2018, 6:08 pm #8

From a George Will article, published today in our local newspaper:
The Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald says that between the 1997-1998 academic year and the Great Recession year of 2008-2009, while the University of California student population grew 33 percent and tenure-track faculty grew 25 percent, senior administrators grew 125 percent. "The ratio of senior managers to professors climbed from 1 to 2.1 to near-parity of 1 to 1.1."
UCLA's vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion earns more than $400,000
 The associate vice chancellor and dean of students at the University of California, Berkeley -- where the Division of Equity and Inclusion has a staff of 150
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jon-nyc
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September 13th, 2018, 7:06 pm #9

the Division of Equity and Inclusion has a staff of 150
[/quote]

Jesus ****.
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Catseye3
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September 13th, 2018, 7:18 pm #10

Professor Oscar Dubón, Jr. was appointed Vice Chancellor of Equity & Inclusion at UC Berkeley on July 1, 2017. He leads campus-wide efforts through the Division of Equity & Inclusion to broaden the participation of all members of the campus community, particularly those who have been historically underrepresented and/or unwelcomed, in the pursuit of the university's mission of access and excellence. Working with division professionals, campus partners, and the broader university community, Dubón pursues programs and services that lead to academic access and success for students; enable pathways to leadership and advancement for staff; build equitable structures for all members . . . 

And so on, blah de blah.  More here, if you can stand it:  https://diversity.berkeley.edu/about/vi ... %C3%B3n-jr

PS.  FWIW, he looks like the quintessential snowflake.  
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Aqua Letifer
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September 13th, 2018, 7:21 pm #11

Jolly wrote:
Copper wrote: The Jesuits worked for room and board.

Not many left now.
Ok, how about this for a radical proposal...We're a little liberal arts college with a nice endowment. We'll pay off your student loans and give you a nice cottage on campus to live in. We'll pay you $45K/year. You owe us ten years, performance reviews and possible raises at 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. 

Think there would be any bites?
Hell I'd bite.
I cite irreconcilable differences.
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Rainman
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September 13th, 2018, 8:23 pm #12

Somewhat related:
The Superintendent of our local school district announced that beginning this school year, inappropriate words (he used the example "chink") would result in discipline equivalent to physical violence discipline. This will begin with staff, and then be added to current discipline practices for students.

I questioned whether as a publicly funded district receiving both State and federal funding, how this would not be an infringement of the 1st amendment, maybe the 14th as well.

Not sure if I have a valid legal argument, based on the Diversity Police that seem in place at the college/university level.

One of my additional push-backs was that this is very much the proverbial "slippery slope" (no pun intended). I asked about the word "oriental" as to whether that would also be banned? How about "occidental?" I asked what specific words or phrases would result in discipline, and who would make the list? The general answer was that there would be no need for any sort of list: if a person is offended by what could be considered inappropriate, that, would be the standard.

Nuts.
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Catseye3
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September 13th, 2018, 8:29 pm #13

So if you called one of those rulemakers "whitebread", that would be on the list?  Or not on the list?  
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Rainman
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September 13th, 2018, 8:47 pm #14

Catseye3 wrote: So if you called one of those rulemakers "whitebread", that would be on the list?  Or not on the list?  
Not on the list. This is a very left-wing district, with Social Justice paramount, minority issues and concerns, equitable outcomes, diversity, all this takes a front seat to everything else. BTW, this is not at all unusual, especially in a very blue region.
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