Colleges to blame for rising costs
As college costs have risen significantly faster than the cost of other goods and life purchases over the past two decades, many have questioned how colleges can justify the increased burden on students and families.
While financial aid has increased to help students afford college and programs such as Income-Based Student Loan repayment have been touted as a way to manage rising student debt, they don’t address the root of the problem, many experts say.
No incentive for colleges to lower costs
A. Barton Hinkle addresses the problem in a recent opinion piece for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Hinkle believes it’s “lunacy” that the public response to rising college costs has been to “throw more money at the problem” in the form of financial aid. This gives colleges no incentive to keep costs manageable for students, he writes.
The massive infusion of money through student aid and other avenues carries with it no incentive to control costs or seek out efficiencies.
It does nothing but encourage colleges and universities to charge even more, secure in the knowledge that student aid will rise to keep up.
Colleges should reduce administrative costs
Hinkle says administrative costs are the biggest problem and a big reason why colleges have raised their prices so much.
The only way to reduce college costs, he says, is to force colleges and universities to be more responsible and thrifty with their spending so that they don’t have to charge such ludicrous prices.
Trying to address spiraling college costs by increasing student aid is like trying to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline.
The way to cut the cost of college is to cut college spending — by making colleges trim their administrative fat, require more work from their personnel and close those offices and departments — including a majority of money-sucking athletic programs — that do not pull their own weight.
Unfortunately, there are no current regulations that force colleges to limit spending and reduce costs. But the free market may be starting to have its way, as more families are choosing to be financially responsible and choosing lower-cost public colleges over elite, expensive private schools.
Making college affordable
In the current era of high college costs, students are realizing they need to reduce college costs upfront if they want to avoid adding to the national $1 trillion in student debt.
By helping families maximize their financial aid packages and find lower-cost college options, we help them make college affordable.