Sunday, the Post Gazette published an article from our friends at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. They argue there is no relationship between state appropriations and tuition hikes:
This does not mean tuition increases never coincide with reductions in state funding. But since 1990, net-tuition charges have risen in all but two years in the Keystone State, despite year-to-year fluctuations in state appropriations. The only discernible trend is ever-increasing tuition, regardless of state appropriations.
The authors go on to explain how universities can cut costs without raising tuition:
In short, rather than raising student tuition to maintain an inefficient status quo, higher education needs to be put on a diet.
Here’s four dieting tips the writers suggest:
1. Reduce Administrative Staff: CF has written extensively on administration bloat, as Penn State admin staff per student increased by 70% from 1993 to 2007.
2. Increase Teaching Loads: On average, faculty taught only 1.6 courses per term in 2004 nationally compared with 2.8 courses in 1998.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Programs: Opportunities include cutting programs with low faculty and student interest.
4. Eliminate Redundancies and Utilize Distance Learning: Pennsylvania students can attend 20 different public colleges if they want to major in communications, according to Barron’s College Guide.