Why Does College Cost So Much?

Paperback | August 15, 2014

byRobert B. Archibald, David H. Feldman

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Much of what is written about colleges and universities ties rapidly rising tuition to dysfunctional behavior in the academy. Common targets of dysfunction include prestige games among universities, gold plated amenities, and bloated administration. This book offers a different view. Toexplain rising college cost, the authors place the higher education industry firmly within the larger economic history of the United States. The trajectory of college cost is similar to cost behavior in many other industries, and this is no coincidence. Higher education is a personal service thatrelies on highly educated labor. A technological trio of broad economic forces has come together in the last thirty years to cause higher education costs, and costs in many other industries, to rise much more rapidly than the inflation rate. The main culprit is economic growth itself.This finding does not mean that all is well in American higher education. A college education has become less reachable to a broad swathe of the American public at the same time that the market demand for highly educated people has soared. This affordability problem has deep roots. The authorsexplore how cost pressure, the changing wage structure of the US economy, and the complexity of financial aid policy combine to reduce access to higher education below what we need in the 21st century labor market. This book is a call to calm the rhetoric of blame and to instead find policies that will increase access to higher education while preserving the quality of our colleges and universities.

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Much of what is written about colleges and universities ties rapidly rising tuition to dysfunctional behavior in the academy. Common targets of dysfunction include prestige games among universities, gold plated amenities, and bloated administration. This book offers a different view. Toexplain rising college cost, the authors place the...

Robert B. Archibald is Chancellor Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. Together with David Feldman, he has published widely on the economics of higher education. David H. Feldman is Professor of Economics and Public Policy, and Chair of the Department of Economics at the College of William and...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190214104

ISBN - 13:9780190214104

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Table of Contents

Part 1 - Introduction1. The Landscape of the College Cost Debate2. Is Higher Education All That Unusual?Part 2 - Costs3. Higher Education is a Service4. The Costs of Employing Highly Educated Workers5. Cost and Quality in Higher Education6. The Bottom Line: Why Does College Cost So Much?7. Is Higher Education Increasingly Dysfunctional?8. Productivity Growth in Higher EducationPart 3 - Tuition and Fees9. Subsidies and Tuition Setting10. List-Price Tuition and Institutional Grants11. Outside Financial Aid12. The College Affordability CrisisPart 4 - Policy13. Federal Policy and College Tuition14. Financial Aid Policy15. Rewriting the Relationship between States and Their Public Universities16. A Few Final ObservationsAppendix 1: Data on Costs and PricesAppendix 2: Granger Causality Tests of the Bennett Hypothesis