True-Adjusted for Inflation

Hattip to Instapundit.

I was able to graduate as an undergrad in 1979 from the U of I owing zero in debt.  (This was without my parents having to pay anything on my college education, except for giving me food and shelter during the summers.)  I graduated in 1982 from the U of I law school, one of the pricier schools at the time at the U of I, owing $7,000.00, which I thought was a Matterhorn of debt.  Having recently put my son through law school, and my daughter through a master’s degree in library science, I can attest to the price increase!





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  1. And yet there is no scrutiny or investigation about why. I’d be interested to see what the increase/decrease in salaries among various university staff are today compared to back then. I mean, the money has to be going somewhere. FWIW, being of modest means, we’re dealing with it by letting our boys stay at home and commute and/or online college as long as possible. Meanwhile they work one or two jobs to pay as much off after what scholarships they manage to get. Their goal is to avoid debt at least in the undergrad world if at all possible.

  2. Despite the fact that every time we throw more money (loans, grants) at higher education, the cost of higher ed goes up by the same relative amount, the truth is we are clearly not doing enough to make higher education affordable. We need to respond to this crisis with shock and awe, and money-bomb them sum’bitch university endowments into submission. And that’s just what we’re going to do, my word as a Biden. And you can take that to the bank.

  3. Education and training costs are a big problem. In the good old days a taxpayer funded high school diploma made it possible for a person to find a good paying job at a factory. The worker didn’t have any edu-debt to pay off.
    Today education costs are through the roof. The financial model for edu-debt is the same as the one that powered the housing bubble. In financial terms this method of funding is called leverage. The student is speculating, hoping to flip their education for a good paying job. Debt based education is in its own way an alternative form of faith-based education. With an education having no cash surrender value the student is financially underwater for their education related debt. With the way things are going with the pace of change in the job market, I’m not sure if the job skills will end up lasting long enough to retire the associated edu-debt. The payments that are made to retire this edu-debt is money that is not available to fuel the consumer economy. It can also cause young people to delay marriage, having a family, and buying a house. I’ve heard that some people can have edu-debt when they are approaching retirement age.
    I don’t think that the employers have much, if any, financial skin in this game. Having a chronic oversupply of workers can work to drive wages down, so there is the possibility for job marketplace manipulation. It is the business world that demands a college degree on a person’s resume. They are the ones priming the demand pump and the associated price inflation of a college degree. They are the ones who are many times looking for a free college education paid for by the worker. It is often said that the world was here first and doesn’t owe us anything. To me this goes a long way towards explaining why the world is so economical with the truth. I mean, figures don’t lie, but lairs figure.
    The financial model of education reeks of Wall Street, big business ethos. Things have gotten to the point that college is looking like the new kinder, gentler company store.
    You take sixteen credit hours, what do you get?
    Another semester older and deeper in debt
    Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
    I owe my soul to the educators.
    With apologies to “Sixteen Tons”
    How many employers require the consumption of a happy meal as part of the terms for employment? How much daylight is there between “woke” capitalism and academia?

  4. Just as Medicare and other health insurance is the primary cause of higher health costs, so are student loans the primary cause of higher tuition.

  5. From data I’ve seen, the sticker price of tertiary schooling tends to increase pari passu with nominal incomes. I’m familiar with the nominal charges assessed by one of the older private institutions (founded in the early 19th century) courtesy that institution’s retired archivist, and the sum of tuition and room and board assessed (‘ere scholarships applied) to nominal personal income per capita was (in 1928) fairly proximate to what it is today.

    The problem, of course, is that in 1928, only about 6% of each cohort passed through baccalaureate-granting institutions and professional schools. Another modest increment of each cohort passed through other sorts of tertiary institutions – junior colleges, teachers’ colleges, nursing schools &c. Nowadays, about 45% of each cohort pass through baccalaureate-granting institutions and another 15% put in time in associate’s granting institutions. (1) The clientele are, relative to their times, less affluent which means (2) there’s less margin for discounts to capable but impecunious students and (3) the signal to the labor market of a tertiary degree or certificate is less potent and (4) the student body as a whole has lower levels of ‘g’ and (arguably) lower levels of diligence than did previous generations. The degree is worth less but being acquired by people less equipped to pay for it.

    Another problem you have is one identified by Allan Bloom a generation ago (and ignored by everyone else). Academic calendars are of antique origin. They do not, in this country, incorporate a serious core curriculum any more. Youths meet the requirements of their major, take a haphazard assemblage of other courses to meet distribution requirements, and then add some more credits for a total quota. (One curio is that the length of the academic year has seen a secular decline, as have per semester credit loads). Bloom advocated one of two courses of action: institute a serious core (loaded with philosophy) or reduce the duration of the course of study to two years (except for ‘the hardest of hard sciences).

    Another problem you have is the requirement one assemble a baccalaureate degree ‘ere entering professional school. This is arbitrary and conventional. It’s not required for engineering and architecture, their demands notwithstanding. One thing that might be done is to replace baccalaureate degrees with briefer certificate programs as preparatory screens. Another might be to reduce padding in professional school curricula and to reduce the multiplication of professional doctorates in various fields. Limiting the title ‘doctor’ to physicians, surgeons, clinical psychologists of the first rank, dentists, podiatrists, and medical professionals who have earned a research degree would be agreeable; so would be replacing the JD degree with a 48-credit standard law degree, a 36 credit supplementary degree, specialized certificates, and the odd research degree in law.

    Another thing you might do is limit research degrees to the academic arts and sciences, music, theology, and a short menu of vocational subjects (e.g. business administration, public policy, law, medical sciences, agriculture and husbandry, and engineering).

    Another thing you might do is simply end all public subsidies to private institutions and strictly ration allocations to the public sector to a particular % of the sum of personal incomes in a state.

  6. It’s all good. The Dems promise free higher education for all illegal aliens.

    Inflation is a money supply issue, too many dollars chasing relatively few goods and services.

    Gold is money. Federal Reserve Notes are bits of green confetti. FDR, after promising not to, by unconstitutional executive order confiscated all Americans’ gold money in April 1933.

    In August 1971, Nixon (a big government Republican) closed the gold window allowing the dollar to float against the world’s currencies, breaking the last link with monetary sanity. .

    In 1971, a dollar was 1/35th of an ounce of gold. In 1973, a dollar was 1/42.22 an ounce. In 1980, it was 1/875th an ounce. At one point in the early 2000’s it was 1/252th an ounce. Yesterday, it was 1/1,555th an ounce of gold (FOX Business 4PMM, 3 Sep 2019).

  7. Sent eldest child to U of I; told all the younger kids the only way they go is if they get full rides from sports. My oldest had a 31 ACT and we are considered upper middle class as well as white and hetero so that meant no scholarships or grants. 34k a year including Newman. BTW, not to totally knock Champaign, but there are also better Newman centers.

  8. My son stayed at Newman Hall when he was down there. You get a much better deal from small liberal arts schools these days than state schools. I was spending about 21K a year when my son was at the U of I. My daughter chose to go to Monmouth College. She received a lot of scholarships, typical for most students at Monmouth, and I never paid more than 8K a year for her. If anything I think she got the better undergrad education.

  9. Donald, My two currently in college, one public out-of-state and one private, are cheaper by 50-70%. Yes UofI is a good school, but still.

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