Tag Archives: College

Why are college tuition and college textbooks so expensive?

As subsidies increase, so do tuition costs
As subsidies increase, so do tuition costs

This article from Investors Business Daily is very helpful.

It says:

Grey Gordon and Aaron Hedlund, economists at Indiana University and the University of Missouri, developed a method to test various explanations for the share rise in tuition costs. Is it state funding cuts? Or the increased wage premium for a college degree? Or is it related to general cost increases in the services industries?

Not exactly. In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research the economists report that these factors contributed insignificantly to the rapid rise in tuition between 1987 and 2010.

What did account for almost all of it was, ironically enough, the massive explosion in federal aid over the past several decades. Federal aid — in the form of subsidized loans, grants and tax credits — shot up 134% in the past 15 years, according to the College Board. It’s climbed 22% just under President Obama.

Combined with state aid, the government is pouring more than $239 billion a year into programs designed to make college less expensive.

What the authors found is that all this aid money has simply let college administrators spend more and jack up tuition to pay for it, without hurting enrollment. The result is there to see for anyone who visits a college campus these days — gourmet kitchens, luxurious dorms, shiny new administrative buildings, beautiful landscapes, state of the art workout facilities, etc.

[…]Not only does the increased federal aid lead to higher tuition, the authors found, but it perversely leads to “more debt, and in the absence of higher labor market returns, more loan default inevitably occurs.”

This hypothesis – that it is government subsidies that drive up tuition rates – is supported in the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

This is by Paul F. Campos, law professor at the radically leftist UC Boulder, explains that government handouts is causing the rise in college tuition:

[…][T]he astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.

[…]As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.

But where is the money going? Is it mostly going to research? To the classroom? To hire more and better professors?

No:

Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.

By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.

Do you wonder why college is so liberal? It’s because instead of hiring professors to teach you how to do useful work for money, they are hiring useless administrators who just enforce politically correct secular leftism onto the students.

The cost of college text books is skyrocketing
The cost of college text books is skyrocketing

College textbook prices are also going way up because of government subsidies.

One way the textbook market is insulated from competition and market forces is that the professor, not the student, makes the decision on the textbook for a course, and it’s probably the case that many professors are unaware of the retail cost of the books they assign for their students. And once the professor decides on a textbook, there are no substitutes for the new edition of the book assigned. If a professor assigns Mankiw’s Principles of Economics textbook, students can’t substitute McConnell’sPrinciples of Economics textbook.

Another reason for skyrocketing textbook prices could be that they are being fueled by easy and cheap credit in the form of student loan debt, which now exceeds $1.36 trillion and has doubled in less than eight years, and tripled in the last decade! Students borrow money not just for college tuition and fees, but also to finance the purchase of textbooks that now routinely cost more than $300, and sometimes approach $400.

What should young people considering college do? If you’re going to college or trade school, go to a low-cost school. Do a STEM degree (e.g. petroleum engineering) or learn to do a trade that pays well (e.g. – electrician). Try to get tuition assistance even if it means going to a less prestigious school. And work at every opportunity you get in the most serious job you can find. Don’t spend your money – save it. Especially don’t spend your money on fun, vacations and alcohol. As soon as you grow up, you’re going to wish you could have it all back.

Tad Hopp accumulated $100,000 of college debt, now he wants a taxpayer bailout

Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com
Brain vs Heart, from: theawkwardyeti.com

Here’s an interesting editorial from a “Christian” left blog. (H/T Acton Institute via Lindsay)

The author, Tad Hopp is graduating a PCUSA seminary – an extremely liberal, left-wing denomination.

He writes:

I graduated college in 2007.

[…] I majored in English, not exactly what most people consider a ‘marketable’ or ‘practical’ degree…

[…]I went to a somewhat expensive private school…

[…]I did what many students in their last year of high school do: I went to the school where I felt I was being called…

[…]I do not regret my four years at my undergraduate institution one bit.

[….]When I graduated college, I owed nearly $50,000 in student loan debt and was unemployed for almost six months before I finally found a low-paying office job.

[…]“Can’t find a job? Well, you should have majored in something more ‘practical’, like economics or business or medicine.” Yeah, that would be great…if those were the subjects where my skills and passions lie. They’re not.

[…]I felt called to go to seminary.

[…]I will graduate seminary with close to six figures worth of student loan debt.

Let’s take stock of what he’s said so far:

  • he studied English, a language that he already spoke, which has one of the lowest employment rates
  • he was warned by people who knew something about earning and saving money not to study English
  • he went to a school he couldn’t afford to go to, and he graduated with $50,000 in debt
  • he went to seminary, another subject that doesn’t pay, and added another $50,000 or so of debt
  • he says that he doesn’t have to study subjects that lead to a career because he isn’t “passionate” about them
  • he “followed his heart” by going to the school that he had mystical, emotional, intuitions about = “calling”

My advice to Tad at this point would be for him to take the Bible seriously when it says this:

2 Thessalonians 3:10:

10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

And 1 Timothy 5:8:

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The Bible is giving us the goal of working. So what should we do to be able to reach that goal? Why should anyone hire us? What is working really about? It’s those kinds of questions that should guide what we study in school, and what jobs we pursue.

We know what careers have the highest starting salaries and mid-career salaries:

Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)
Starting and Mid-Career salaries by profession (click for larger image)

(Source)

Why do some people get paid more than others? The answer is supply and demand. Prices are a way of determining what is most valued by your fellow man. Business owners pay more to people who offer their customers more value. If you really want to serve your neighbor, you have to learn something they really want, but can’t easily obtain. And then you will be paid more. You can’t do what makes you happy. You have to do what makes customers happy. That’s how the free market works – you make money when you provide something of value to others. You make money when you serve others. This is something that is very hard for self-centered, feelings-driven young progressives to grasp. But it’s something older Americans all know.

More Tad:

Is the PCUSA doing anything to address this crisis?

[…]What has our government done to address this issue?

[…]I, like so many in my generation, voted for Obama…

[…]It seems to me that we’ve bought into the lie that student loan debt is brought on by the individual person…

[…]You know what I think might stimulate the economy? Automatically cancelling every single outstanding student loan!

He insists that the results of his own choices aren’t his fault. But didn’t he make the choices about what to study? Didn’t he make the choice to follow his heart? Didn’t he disregard the advice of people who urged him to be practical? Who is to blame, if not he, himself?

Tad needs to push away all his friends who told him to “follow his heart” and stick close by his friends who told him to focus on providing value to others. Don’t look for advice from dreamers, look for advice from doers. Dreamers talk. But doers have demonstrated the ability to create plans that work to achieve results.

By the way, some of you might be wondering how serious this person was about his Christianity. Well, in another post, he comes out as gay. So clearly the Bible is being interpreted in a way where feelings are overturning the plain meanings of words. People who read the Bible closely never come away with the message that they should follow their hearts.

What’s behind the epidemic of false rape accusations on campus?

College students puking in toilet
College students puking in toilet

Heather McDonald is concerned about the feminist left’s effort to undermine the presumption of innocence for men accused of rape. She makes an argument in the prestigious City Journal that there is actually a reason why we should not believe women’s rape claims, especially in an age of feminism, until we have the evidence that proves that the man being accused is guilty.

First, she gives an example of the fake rape charge made by the Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz. I’ll omit the history of consent before, during, and after the sex and go straight to the reason for the false accusation:

It wasn’t until eight months after their August 2012 coupling that Sulkowicz filed a campus-rape charge, alleging that Nungesser had anally raped her while she struggled and told him to stop. She claims that she waited so long to file so as to avoid re-traumatizing herself. Nungesser argues that she was simply chagrined that they had not become an exclusive couple.

Reason magazine actually reported that she texted Nungesser to come over and “f*** me in the butt”. We have that text, and we know that this happened. So what happened? She had painful sex with a guy, and the relationship ended, and she wanted to shame him for breaking up with her after she gave him recreational sex. She felt she was entitled to a relationship after doing so much.

Here’s another one where the consent was documented before during and after the act, and the woman made a false accusation after because she was disappointed that the sex did not result in a relationship:

In September 2013, two freshmen at Occidental College in Southern California had sex after both had been on a 24-hour drinking binge.

Jane reported their coupling to campus authorities only after seeing that John was unaffected emotionally by it, whereas she, having lost her virginity, felt distracted and unable to concentrate.

He was found guilty of rape and expelled.

In another case:

In another case, a female student was caught by her boyfriend while cheating on him with another male student. She then filed a complaint of assault against that second male. The morning after their sexual encounter, they had exchanged texts. He wrote: “How do I compare with your boyfriend?” She responded to the boy she later accused of rape: “You were great.”

Saying no to the hot guy would have deprived her of a pleasurable experience. The rape charge got her out of being sanctioned by her boyfriend and judged by her peers. She probably couldn’t even understand why her boyfriend was angry, or why her friends thought less of her. After all, it’s her right to pursue happiness, and nobody should judge her.

So, what’s really happening? What’s really happening is that women are consenting to sex, sometimes after having chosen to get drunk, then when they sober up and realize how it makes them look to others – their boyfriends, their peers, their family, their pastors – they use rape charges as an excuse to rehabilitate their reputation. Regret over consensual sex is driving the rape accusations.

MacDonald explains:

Our booze-fueled hook-up culture has made relations between men and women messier than ever, leaving many girls and women with pangs of regret—but those regrets do not equal rape. If we were actually in the midst of an “epidemic of sexual assault,” as New Jersey senator Cory Booker asserted the evening of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, we would presumably have seen women and girls take protective actions, such as avoiding frat parties and flocking to single-sex schools. None of those protective actions has occurred, however. Either women are too clueless to avoid patent danger, or the epidemic of sexual assault is a fiction. All evidence points to the latter conclusion.

I have some thoughts about this, too.

In my experience dealing with women on college campuses, they tend to want a relationship, but the only men they are attracted to are hot bad boys who refuse to commit to them with marriage before having sex. So, the women give the hot non-committing bad boys the sex, thinking that the sex will be so good that it will lead to a relationship. The alcohol is used to provide an excuse later on, if the sex doesn’t result in a relationship. And if it doesn’t result in a relationship, they accuse the hot bad boy of rape in order to restore their reputation with their friends, (“I’m not a slut”), and punish the hot bad boy for not committing to them.

The more distrust there is between men and women, the fewer men and women will get married. What should we do? We should encourage women to stop drinking so much, to stop choosing men for fun and thrills, to stop having recreational sex, and to stop blaming their own poor choices on men.

UPDATE: Glenn found a great article at The Federalist which talks about women making poor choices, then blaming the bad men they freely chose:

But in the Me Too era and under the burgeoning expectation of enthusiastic consent, the first questions asked are something like, “What kind of horrible man would do this?” and, “How can we make him pay for this crime yucky way he behaved toward women?” Any attempt to ask why a woman would invite a man into her bedroom late into the evening if she didn’t want to have sex with him, accept the offer of a third date after she really didn’t enjoy the first two, or continue a years-long sexual relationship even though sometimes the sex made her feel bad, are considered victim blaming. It is as though we are to believe that the woman involved has no agency, no free will, and no control over her own choices.

A lot of harmful and costly social outcomes happen when women choose bad men, and do bad things with those men. Abortion, divorce, single mother welfare, fatherlessness, and deterring good men from having relationships (because women are seen as crazy and irresponsible). We’d better start holding women accountable to make better decisions about men, and prioritize marriage over fun and thrills.

Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on sex and sexuality at Harvard University

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse delivers a talk based on her book “Smart Sex” at Harvard University.

The MP3 file is here. (21 Mb) (Link in case that doesn’t work)

Topics:

  • the hook-up culture and its effects on men and women
  • cohabitation and its effect on marriage stability
  • balancing marriage, family and career
  • single motherhood by choice and IVF
  • donor-conceived children
  • modern sex: a sterile, recreation activity
  • the real purposes of sex: procreation and spousal unity
  • the hormone oxytocin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the hormone vassopressin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the sexual revolution and the commoditization of sex
  • the consumer view of sex vs the organic view of sex
  • fatherlessness and multi-partner fertility
  • how the “sex-without-relationship” view harms children

52 minutes of lecture, 33 minutes of Q&A from the Harvard students. The Q&A is worth listening to – the first question is from a gay student, and Dr. Morse pulls a William Lane Craig to defeat her objection. It was awesome! I never get tired of listening to her talk, and especially on the topics of marriage and family.

New study: college students drink more before casual sex than relationship sex

Sex events measured against intimacy level (for women only)
Sex events measured against intimacy level (for women only)

It turns out that college students use MORE alcohol and drugs when they have sex with strangers, and LESS alcohol and drugs when they have sex with people they are in a relationship with.

This study was reported by the far-left Psychology Today.

Excerpt:

A recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research sheds some light on these questions. A research team headed by Jennifer Walsh analyzed alcohol use in almost 500 casual and 1400 romantic sexual intercourse events that happened to 300 college women on a monthly basis over a period of 12 months. Alcohol use was not very common during romantic sex: 20% of romantic encounters involved some drinking and only 5% involved heavy drinking (defined as four or more drinks). Hookups, on the other hand, were a different story: Women drank during 53% of their hookups, and drank heavily during 38% of all hookups.

But not all hookups are created equal. There was an almost perfect linear relationship between drinking and partner closeness: The less known the partner, the more likely women drank before sex, and the more likely they drank a lot. Look at the graph I created based on their data. When the casual partner was an ex-boyfriend, for example, only 30% of hookups involved drinking and 17% heavy drinking. When the partner was a random stranger, however, 89% of hookups involved drinking and 63% involved four or more drinks!

The writer explains why this happens:

Alcohol also provides an excuse to those who need one. In a world that encourages hooking up but also judges those (especially women) who engage in it too much, many seem to need it. You’re a slut if you hook up with people just because you want to: Good girls don’t actively want to hook up, and being sober means taking full responsibility for your actions. But if you can blame it on the alcohol, you’re absolved of guilt. You can still be a good girl who just happened to make a mistake.

This study agrees with a study I blogged about before from the University of Virginia, which explained that college students drink before hook-ups in order to be able to explain to their friends why it wasn’t their fault:

A Rutgers University student commented, “If you’re drinking a lot it’s easier to hook up with someone… [and] drugs, it’s kind of like a bonding thing… and then if you hook up with them and you don’t want to speak to them again, you can always blame it on the drinking or the drugs.”

Other women observed that being drunk gives a woman license to act sexually interested in public in ways that would not be tolerated if she were sober. For instance, a University of Michigan student said, “Girls are actually allowed to be a lot more sexual when they are drunk…”

A University of Chicago junior observed, “One of my best friends… sometimes that’s her goal when we go out. Like she wants to get drunk so I guess she doesn’t have to feel guilty about [hooking up].”

Now, the first thing I thought of when I saw this article in Psychology Today was: “I wonder what criteria these college students are using in order to decide which strangers they have sex with”. And then I realized. For perfect strangers, it would have to be something obvious, like physical appearance. A study found that it takes a woman 3 minutes to decide if she likes a man or not. Whatever assessment is being made in that 3 minutes surely isn’t adequate for long-term plans for marriage, children and church attendance.

Don’t judge me, it wasn’t my fault

It reminds me of something I read a while back in a Theodore Dalrymple book. Theodore Dalrymple is the famous psychiatrist who writes books about culture in the UK. One of his books about the complete lack of personal responsibility among criminals is actually posted online.

In the chapter “Tough Love“, he talks about the nurses he works with:

All the more surprising is it to me, therefore, that the nurses perceive things differently. They do not see a man’s violence in his face, his gestures, his deportment, and his bodily adornments, even though they have the same experience of the patients as I. They hear the same stories, they see the same signs, but they do not make the same judgments. What’s more, they seem never to learn; for experience—like chance, in the famous dictum of Louis Pasteur—favors only the mind prepared. And when I guess at a glance that a man is an inveterate wife beater (I use the term “wife” loosely), they are appalled at the harshness of my judgment, even when it proves right once more.

This is not a matter of merely theoretical interest to the nurses, for many of them in their private lives have themselves been the compliant victims of violent men. For example, the lover of one of the senior nurses, an attractive and lively young woman, recently held her at gunpoint and threatened her with death, after having repeatedly blacked her eye during the previous months. I met him once when he came looking for her in the hospital: he was just the kind of ferocious young egotist to whom I would give a wide berth in the broadest daylight.

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Often, their imprudence would be laughable, were it not tragic: many times in my ward I’ve watched liaisons form between an abused female patient and an abusing male patient within half an hour of their striking up an acquaintance. By now, I can often predict the formation of such a liaison—and predict that it will as certainly end in violence as that the sun will rise tomorrow.

At first, of course, my female patients deny that the violence of their men was foreseeable. But when I ask them whether they think I would have recognized it in advance, the great majority—nine out of ten—reply, yes, of course. And when asked how they think I would have done so, they enumerate precisely the factors that would have led me to that conclusion. So their blindness is willful.

If Dalrymple’s observations about female patients and nurses can be applied more broadly, then it explains why women initiate 70% of divorces. Women who don’t want to be “forced” to be self-controlled and responsible with their choices will want an easy way to get out of it. According to Dalrymple’s experience, it’s not that women don’t know that bad boys are lousy at marriage and fatherhood. They know it, but they choose to blind themselves to it, because it’s just too much self-denial to have to be serious about making responsible choices with men and sex and marriage.

Right now, we are $20 trillion in debt, half of that thanks to Barack Obama’s administration. I believe that the majority of this debt was accrued because people wanted to do what felt good to them in the moment, and then pass off the costs of their “unpredictable” mistakes onto their neighbors. The truth is that these costs will be paid by generations of young people not yet born. People shouldn’t talk about how much they care about children, if their voting will force all the children of tomorrow into slavery.

One last piece of advice to men. My best friend Dina told me to always evaluate women based on their past choices, not based on the picture of themselves that they paint with words. Wise advice.