Monday, February 21, 2011

With The Economy In The Tank Loyola New Orleans Raises Tution Three Time The Inflation Rate

The Loyola New Orleans 2011-2012 school year will bring an undergraduate class of 850 students, and a 5.9 percent tuition increase and 6 percent room and board increase. 
Currently, on-campus Loyola students pay an estimated $ 42,002 and off-campus students pay an estimated $31,754, according to Loyola Admissions. 
During the spring convocation speech, the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., brought up the plans to raise tuition and the expected benefits reaped from the allocation of incoming revenue. "Next year's budget would result in a surplus of $660,000," he said. "I directed Jay Calamia to set up a Plant Fund to address ongoing maintenance issues and we will transfer $560,000 to the fund at the end of next year." The remaining $100,000 will be surplus for next year's budget allocation, said Wildes.
Link (here) to the Maroon.


Anonymous said...

All government tuition assistance, including loan guarantees, should be canceled. All they have done has been to inflate the number of dollars going toward higher education artificially, providing colleges with the opportunity to raise tuition rates unconscionably for the past thirty years. Let supply and demand work without government interference.

TonyD said...

Fr. Wildes has options other than raising tuition. But he cannot take those options, even though his community would prefer that he did. It is a problem when a religious organization cannot reflect God’s values, and a priest cannot act as a role model for those values.

Anonymous said...

Great, Mr. Anonymous--go ahead and cancel all tuition assistance. There would be a dramatic drop in enrollments, and some fields such as nursing would be in dire straits. Your worship of the fictitious "free market" will seriously harm society.

And, at the same time make it illegal for private businesses to use all the research produced in public higher education institutions.

Jack in Park Slope said...

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and the College Board.

The figure compares inflation over the last 30 years associated with (1) the general cost of living, (2) the cost of medical care, and (3) college tuition and fees.

Inflation factors were computed to answer the question: in each year, how many dollars would be needed to have the same buying power as $1.00 had in 1978? The calculations made use of published data on the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), the medical costs component of the CPI, and historical data on inflation of college tuition and fees.

As is well known, medical care costs have grown faster than the general cost of living — by 2008, nearly twice as much. This receives a lot of public attention and many complaints.

Yet college tuition and fees inflated at a much faster rate: nearly three times that of general inflation. Thus while it took $3.30 in 2008 to buy the same general commodities purchasable for $1.00 in 1978, for college tuition and fees nearly $10 in 2008 was needed to buy what $1.00 got in 1978.

This excess inflation has, incidentally, occurred across the board: for both private and public 4-year colleges, and for public 2-year colleges.

This is why students are being forced to take out exorbitant loans.

In short:

* After adjusting for inflation, college tuition and fees are roughly three times more expensive now than in 1978. Why? What has intrinsically changed about college education so that this is the case?

* Excess inflation of healthcare costs is a prominent issue and receives much attention; but excess inflation of college costs is even greater. Why is this not a major social issue?

Shouldn’t we be making a college education easier to obtain instead of more difficult? We claim to rely on young people to make a better world in the future. How are they supposed to do that when they step into adulthood already burdened with debt?

Reading and Resources

* The College Board. Trends in College Pricing. Princeton, NJ: 2008.

* The Education Sector. Drowning in Debt: The Emerging Student Loan Crisis. July 2009

* Ronald Ehrenberg. Tuition Rising: Why College Costs So Much. Harvard University Press, 2002.

* The Project on Student Debt

* Paul Streitz. The Great American College Tuition Rip-Off. Oxford Institute Press, 2005.

* Richard K. Vedder. Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much. American Enterprise Institute, 2004.

* Penelope Wang. Is college still worth the price? Money Magazine. August 20, 2008.

Jack in Park Slope said...

The True Cause of College-Tuition Inflation?

For college students and their parents, the steady spike in tuition prices in recent decades has been not only troubling but mysterious: why on earth is tuition inflation double the general inflation rate? What’s behind these huge tuition bills: Massive legacy costs? Less public funding? The cost of acquiring real estate?

While none of those reasons are necessarily off the table, consider this article by Tamar Lewin in today’s Times:

Over the last two decades, colleges and universities doubled their full-time support staff while enrollment increased only 40 percent, according to a new analysis of government data by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a nonprofit research center.

During the same period, the staff of full-time instructors, or equivalent personnel, rose about 50 percent, while the number of managers increased slightly more than 50 percent.

Support staff! And what kind of work are they doing?

The growth in support staff included some jobs that did not exist 20 years ago, like environmental sustainability officers and a broad array of information technology workers. The support staff category includes many different jobs, like residential-life staff, admissions and recruitment officers, fund-raisers, loan counselors, and all the back-office staff positions responsible for complying with the new regulations and reporting requirements colleges face.

This explanation seems satisfying (intellectually, at least, if not emotionally). But it’s probably also important to consider how much money colleges have been putting into student amenities as well. When I visited my undergrad alma mater a few years ago, the chancellor pointed out that three buildings had gone up in the past decade or so that were each larger than any existing building on campus. There was a library, a convocation center (a multipurpose arena), and a huge student gym. The gym, he said, was a top priority because parents and prospective students increasingly think of themselves as customers, shopping for the most amenities for the best price, and the colleges that didn’t come to grips with this would soon see their customers going elsewhere.