The Future of the University

If I were able to change one thing about higher education it would be the price. Higher education has been, is, and is projected to be, too expensive. I would like to share a portion of my end-of-term paper for this class that touches on this topic.

State-level policy makers and academic leadership have failed to implement controls or strategies that make higher education affordable. This is true even for the states that have made the most progress in making college affordable and if the current trajectory remains unchanged “opportunity through higher education will be a false promise” for future generations. (Finney, 2016) While the typical family income has done well to stay ahead of average monetary inflation, it is no match for the inflation rate of higher education. (Odland, n.d.) Since the mid-1980s the consumer price index has increased by roughly 115% while the cost of higher education has increased by nearly 500% ( Odland, n.d. ) Even after inflation is accounted for the cost of college is double what it was in in 80s. (Maldonado, n.d.) Digging deeper, the severity of the problem becomes even more apparent. In the past 30 years, since 1989, the cost of higher education rose eight times faster than the wage rate which has effectively remained unchanged over that time period. (Maldonado, n.d. ) Unfortunately, the outlook doesn’t improve by looking at the past decade in isolation. The data shows that since 2009 the cost of an undergraduate education, including tuition, fees, room, and board, rose 34 percent at public institutions and 26 percent for private. (National Center for Education Stasitics, n.d.)

So, as you can see, I have done a very good job being a problem identifier without risking being a problem solver. Nevertheless, awareness is the first step. My estimation that any real and meaningful solutions to higher education will be uncomfortably disruptive.

References:

Finney, J. E. (n.d.). 2016 College Affordability Diagnosis: National Report, 41. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1481&context=gse_pubs

National Cetner for Education Statistics (n.d.). The NCES Fast Facts Tool provides quick answers to many education questions Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76

Maldonado, C. (n.d.). Price Of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages. Retrieved February 15, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/camilomaldonado/2018/07/24/price-of-college-increasing-almost-8-times-faster-than-wages/

Odland, S. (n.d.). College Costs Out Of Control. Retrieved February 18, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveodland/2012/03/24/college-costs-are-soaring/


5 thoughts on “The Future of the University

  1. Thank you for sharing. I agree, nowadays higher education is too expensive that promotes students to look for the best salaries after graduation instead of a job that fulfill their personal interests. Or even pick a job that goes against their believes or ethics behaviors just to pay their loans.

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  2. I agree completely with your perspective. The cost of a university education of course promotes an issue that is common in most societies… the rich get richer as the poor get poorer. As it is, the university system in the U.S. greatly favors the wealthy. This is a myopic view because there are many highly intelligent potential students from all economic classes that will be excluded due to the expense and our society in general is suffering the loss. Those from the middle classes that are barely able to afford quality higher education often wind up in debt for the rest of their lives. Financially crippling our brightest minds is counter productive to a positively evolving society.

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  3. This is so extremely important to the future of universities. I can say that I personally would not have been able to attend college at all if it wasn’t for my choice of a cheaper college as well as scholarships/grants. Even with my scholarships and grants in college, I still had to work three jobs to afford books, supplies, and basic living expenses. This should definitely not be the case for any student, certainly because I know of students that had it worse off than myself. Although I agree that any meaningful solution will be disruptive and uncomfortable for some, I feel keeping the idea of better solutions in the general public’s mind will eventually make the solution a little less disruptive. The mere-exposure effect is real and could certainly do a lot of good in this case!

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  4. Being a problem identifier is just as important as being a problem solver, at least in my opinion. There are many people who complain, but do not see the cost of tuition to be an actual problem. This also ties in to what we’ve been discussing in class in the recent weeks, as tuition globally is not the same as it is in the US. I believe the US schools may have to changes, and by this I mean become a place of academics and not the partying stigma is holds, before universities ever decided to change the cost.

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