Actually, it’s the students themselves that are often at the root of driving up prices. They want new cafeterias that serve gourmet food. They want doctors and nurses on campus full time, they want “free” extensive tutoring. They want numerous psychologists. Dorms need to be “state of the art” with individual rooms and bathrooms. Top performaing arts. Lots of entertainment, the fastest wifi, free computer repairs…
…I could go on and on and on.
Most colleges today are working to try and lower prices to stay more competitive but there are now things that are considered “integral” to the college experience that was basically unheard of a decade ago.
My university used to have “triples” which were the cheapest rooms–3 students to a room. It no longer has any…and many “doubles” are now “singles”. They have built 2 large dormitories with all singles or “unit” structure where a few singles have adjoining bathrooms and their own “living room”.
Before my time, the triples were “quads”. And they were the cheapest way to live on campus. Now even off-campus student apartment renters have found that students are willing to pay more money for more space. It used to be that a nearby apartment house with spacious rooms always had 8 students per unit—two to a room. They haven’t had that in nearly 15 years—now students live one to a room.
The high cost of college education today is nearly directly proportional to the services that students expect. Most colleges do NOT want to raise prices. Most are NPO’s that are struggling to find the cheapest way to acomplish all the things that students want.
Even community colleges are suffering. It used to be that it was easy for a CC to hire an adjunct. People came to class. They spoke to the professor after. They left…or went to the libary Now, CC students want a fancy cafeteria to hang out in. They want “office hours” from their adjuncts. They want to be tutored for free. They want their classroom to be the “smart” classroom. They want campus programming. They want to watch their “team” play sports.
All of this comes at great cost.
If you’re going to make claims about higher education, you should at least be informed as to why it’s happening and not place the blame on the NPO colleges that are trying to figure out how to give students what they want and keep costs down.
Believe me, schools WANT to keep their prices down—but they also run the fine line of not being attractive if they don’t offer the glut of “services” and cater to the crazy demands that have become part of college life today.