Are Universities Getting Too Expensive to Run and Too Expensive to Attend?

Two recent Chronicle articles discuss the challenges faced by both universities and students.

The first article reflects on the negative financial outlook for private and public universities. Both sectors face pressures, although of a slightly different nature. Private universities rely heavily on gifts and tuition—gifts have significantly decreased and tuition is creeping up to heights that students are no longer able or willing to pay. Public universities must deal with cuts in state support.

The solution? Well, other than restructuring their business plans, schools are going to continue making cuts and struggling until the economy picks up.

The second article examines the situation from the students’ perspective. How do college freshman feel about the costs of their future education? According to a recent survey, they’re worried. Very worried. Most students pay for their first year of college (at least) with family resources. With 4.5% of freshmen reporting that their fathers are out of work and 7.9% have unemployed mothers, students are at a loss for how they’ll make ends meet.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Fewer students are pursuing undergraduate degrees in business.
  • Fewer students are planning on pursuing business careers upon graduation.
  • One in five students needs some form of tutoring (an additional expense) while they’re in college. Military veterans express this need the most.

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