Why is university so expensive?
There is a general concern that the cost of higher ed is too high. The question is, why is university so expensive? The answer is the cost to pay people is high, and the funding for paying people is mainly left to the individual.
The people in the “university so expensive” case are the faculty and staff. For example, to maintain a low faculty-to-student ratio (let’s say 20:1 which might be considered high) you arguably have 20 students paying for one faculty. Let’s further argue that with benefits and pay the 20 students need to cover around 200,000 dollars. Already, each of you needs to pay around 10,000 just for that single faculty.
Other ratios might enlighten us all
That single faculty is now paid, but what about the staff and administration needed to run a large institution. What is the staff to student ration or the administration to student ratio? What about the coach to student ratio? Each one of these people has both pay and benefits, and therefore, tuition dollars also need to be allocated to these resources.
Who pays for the heat and electricity? Who pays for the IT staff and infrastructure? Who pays for the gym, career center, and grounds up keep? It’s all part of tuition.
Does public education mean anything
In theory, public schools are fully (ha!) or partially funded by public tax dollars. The idea is that we as a collective help pay for a young persons education to allow for their career mobility. The reality is that less and less public funds are going to public universities, and as this happens the public university needs to raise tuition (or in a way, privately tax the young).
This is a societal choice, but under current trends an undergraduate degree is expensive, and the majority of the cost is used to pay the people that teach, maintain, and run the institution. That’s why university is so expensive.
Credits: photo titled: Money Hand Holding Bankroll Girls February 08, 20117; by Steven Depolo