Why does college cost so much?

In “The Landscape of the College Cost Debate,” Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman argue that the high tuition costs are not exactly the fault of colleges and universities, as commonly thought, but actually derive from broad economic forces that are buffering every industry. They state that these broad economic forces “are the primary driver of rapidly rising higher education costs” (82). Particularly notable, the 2008 financial crisis factored into the US government having less money, intern decreasing “in subsidies as a percentage of cost provided by state governments to their state supported colleges and universities” (89).  Tuitions have been increased as subsidies have lowered. Reading this article was the first time I gave serious thought to the fact that other forces are at fault, and that the problem does not come from anyone doing anything wrong in particular (such as presidents of colleges and other administrators). All of the programs that higher education institutions offer obviously cost a great deal of money, and with less government funding, they are forced to raise tuition. Additionally, they are forced to be competitive with other schools because they want more students. This competitiveness means that they must have programs to set themselves apart, which are more costly. It is all a never-ending cycle. But as long as there is demand for higher education institutions, they will not stop raising their costs. Fortunately, we are living in a time that can be revolutionary, and other programs have risen that can be used as alternatives, such as online learning.


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