Sunday, April 23, 2017

Should Outrageous College Tuition Costs be Considered a “Crime”?

Many of the so-called millennial's who attend college today, are racking up debt that is out of proportion to what they receive when they finally get their diplomas. The total student debt is estimated to be over a trillion dollars and rising.

The question that must be asked, is it fair that colleges charge so much in tuition fees, as they have increased the tuition fees at 3 times the inflation rate over the past few years?

What is ironic is that many of these expensive (both private and public) colleges and universities have endowments in the many millions, and in the case of some, in the billions (especially the ultra-expensive “Ivy League” universities - ex: Harvard $37 billion and Yale $23 billion etc.) In addition to these enormous endowments, which by the way are tax-free, many (if not all) receive federal funds and grants in the millions each year, and still they continue to raise the tuition to the students attending their colleges and universities. To give you some idea as to what the U.S. Government gives to these schools in the form of federal money, here is an example:

1. Johns-Hopkins University - $1.9 billion in federal funds ($2.6 billion endowment).

2. University of Washington - $950 million in federal funds ($2.2 billion endowment).

3. University of Michigan - $820 million in federal funds ($7.7 billion endowment).

These were just a few examples of schools with billion dollar endowments who receive government funding while their tuition rates increase yearly, way above the inflation rate. Maybe these school endowments should have their yearly profits taxed like the rest of us are taxed?

Why are tuition's going up so fast? Some have blamed the fact that the government has made available to students, government guaranteed loan assistance, and that has emboldened the schools to raise tuition costs as the loans are guaranteed by the government, thereby minimizing default by its student recipients to the colleges they are attending. It is a win-win situation for the greedy colleges.

In 1976, tuition in private colleges and universities (in 2016 dollars) was $10,000. Now, they're $33,000. For public colleges and universities there was a fourfold increase from $2,500 to $10,000.

Many colleges and universities have students emerge ill-educated by comparison to the tuition paid by the student. They have trained too many of the students to be unemployed. In addition, the students come out of school as “debt slaves” where much of what they earn goes to payoff their debts. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, during their campaigns for president, promised to make a college education “tuition-free”, which was just campaign rhetoric to generate the college vote (totally unrealistic, and just a ploy for getting votes).

Much of these increases in tuition rates goes into a bloated administrative staff and to pay exorbitant salaries to professors and assistants. To show the “bloat” at some schools is the case of high profile professor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was paid $500,000 for teaching one law class at Harvard University, so while students suffer from burgeoning tuition costs, their professors are living on the “gravy train” of inflated faculty salaries. Shouldn't some of these “gigantic” endowments be used to make the college experience less financially burdensome to the students attending their school? We have allowed the colleges to run up the tab (with government subsidies) and populate the campus with idiotic, worthless courses (mainly with a “social agenda”) and administrative bloat, and a good dose of “political correctness” mixed in.

So, it is incumbent upon us to try to stop this “cancer” on America's higher education by bringing down this outrage of excessively high tuition costs. Yes, it would be a “crime” if nothing is done to remedy this situation.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Liberals have the keys to the pantry and are stuffing their pockets at the expense of the tax payer.