Increases in college tuition continue to outpace inflation. The argument, of course, is that so long as the market can bear the increase, it is economically sensible to continue to raise tuition. There is a theoretical inflection point where a high enough portion of the market is priced out of being a customer. It is here that the market size is at a point where college and university revenues and/or margins are at their peak.
That’s the market centric approach to tuition setting decision making. What about nation centric? Only a decade ago, The United States led the world in the percentage of it’s population with at least an associates degree. Today, we are 12th. In only 10 years we have fallen from 1st to 12th in a category that has huge implications for the future of our country as a world leader. In my opinion, this category might only be second to the efficient and effective administration of healthcare. (I won’t even go there right now.)
Pricing many otherwise academically and intellectually strong candidates for post secondary education out of the market is not the only factor affecting a decrease in the percentage of the US population obtaining such desirable education levels. Policies that tie teachers hands and in affect lowering the bar sets many students as ill-prepapred and they become quickly discouraged and disenfranchised once they enter post-secondry eduction institutions.
Where finances are that which drive the “go to college / don’t go to college” decision, a more holistic longer term view with national interest in mind must be taken by U.S. colleges and universities if we are to have any hope at advancing the collective education levels of our citizens.
I believe in the importance of maximizing revenue and profits and the decision-making processes that lead to such outcomes. And I also deeply believe that focusing solely on such metrics – and nothing else – is simply terminal and does not ultimately lead to a better future for the very environment relied upon for sustenance and longevity.
As always, I welcome all thoughts and feedback.
Thanks for reading – have a Great Day!