Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Corvette or College

What's wrong with higher education?  I agree with Froma Harrop in the Dallas Morning News today in her opinion piece: College or a Corvette? Same Price.  The bottom line is that not all college/university degrees are worth the cost. 

The reason:
American median income has grown 6.5 times over the past 40 years but a state college cost has increased by 15 times.  You are investment is getting the return it used to.  And that doesn't even take into account getting a degree in a useless major!  And private school costs have gone up 360% since 1980.

Why are costs up so high - Froma gives us a shopping list:
  1. Money on pampered sports teams that don't bring in any revenue such as $20K per person for Duke Golf team
  2. There are 629 college football teams - 14 actually make money (hard to believe with all that TV money out there)
  3. The number of college administrators has doubled over the last 30 years with great new titles like "director of learning communities" and "assistant dean of students for substance education"
  4. President's salaries - Vanderbilt makes $1.2 million a year
  5. Massive upgrade on facilities - climbing walls, granite floors in dorms and other luxuries to attract students
It has to stop.  Online schools  - that really do leverage technology to increase efficiency and provide greater access are going to be the Netflix to higher ed's Blockbuster.