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Thread: What makes up the cost of HIGHER EDUCATION, and why has it increased so rapidly?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Wayland MA
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    Default What makes up the cost of HIGHER EDUCATION, and why has it increased so rapidly?

    Referring back to my "cost of health insurance" post, a Derrick Z. Jackson column in today's Boston Globe (Saturday, 12/6) reports that health care costs have increased by 251 percent over the last quarter century. Amazingly, though, higher education cost increases swamp that figure: 439 percent over the same period.

    Again, I put out a question to people with expertise in this area: why are higher education costs increasing so much more than costs in other parts of the economy? They can't even blame it all on health insurance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
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    Angry Why Why Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Again, I put out a question to people with expertise in this area: why are higher education costs increasing so much more than costs in other parts of the economy? They can't even blame it all on health insurance!
    The question you bring up is an excellent one. I don't profess to have the exact answer but I will hypothesize in a few examples.

    Using both public and college education some component of the two is made up of health costs so you can't completely eliminate that as a factor... its part of it but your point that something else is driving faster is well taken.

    In 1976 my HS teacher salary was $10K / year.
    If I use a $60K salary today for the same job then its a factor of 6 over 32 years. Quarter century is 25 years so 25 / 32 = 0.781 and if we multiply this by 60K = 46.88K which compared to 10K is about the 439% that mention. Given the cost of an apartment, a car, food, gas etc in 1976 vs. 2008 the 439% still may not keep up but I suspect that the increase we are seeing simply tracks the cost of living and teachers did start out quite low in the 1970's. However 60K is probably not enough to move into Wayland today (other than the Nike Site on Oxbow Rd.)

    When I look at the cost of a private school college education its 30-40K / year which includes dorm. So the average person would not be able to handle this without taking out some serious loans and paying it back over long periods of time. The cost of a 4 year private school education for my daughter was about 130K and I'm still feeling the effects and she graduated last year.

    Why so expensive?
    Probably the same reasons given above for the public school education but I would think that a country with the right priorities would create a scenario which would make it much more affordable to send one's child to a private school. For example, suppose that 30-40K / yr was tax deductable? Then it would look more like 20-27K, still expensive but over 4 years much better. The investment in the college education for the child is an investment made by the family but not made by the government. But it is for the government's benefit too... that is if you want an educated society which brings me to the next point.

    The government did seem to think that shoveling money out of the door to Iraq is better spent.... but I won't go on about that - makes my blood boil.

    So this brings me to the 'conspiracy' theory of why education is so expensive... although I am not saying that I believe this... only presenting this as a theory which exists out there in the ether.

    Expensive education means that only a few can be educated.
    Those who are educated are via the Privledged.. kind of a Darwinian effect.
    This also provides less alternatives for the poor and this causes the poor to join the military where the privledged doesn't have to (remember Credence's song 'Fortunate Son' ?) Thereby creating a defacto-draft without actually having a draft.
    Given this... most will not be educated and you will 'dumb' down society over time.
    Its easier to control a 'dumbed down' society.

    This is known as the neo-con 'conspiracy' theory of education.

    But again, this is the conspiracy theory of why education is so expensive and not government subsidized to the point where everybody who wants a college education can get one.

    If you think about this theory long enough you start to believe it... especially after you just paid $130K to college educate your daughter...

    As they say, just because your paranoid, doesn't mean there NOT out to get you. [grin]

    By the way Kim, there is another thread with the same name which you might want to join with this one.

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