$70 Billion “Free” College Proposal Encourages Universities’ Bad Behavior

Taxpayer Money Funds Administrative Staff, Not Students: NCPA

Source: NCPA

President Obama’s proposal to give students two “free” years of community college will only aggravate the growing “student loan bubble,” according to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Research Associate Farhad Mirzadeh.

“The government’s intervention in the health care sector should have warned us of the cost-increasing effects when the government is involved,” says Mirzadeh. “Just as health care costs spiraled out of control after the government began Medicaid and Medicare, so too are education costs rising much faster than other consumer prices.”

Rather than using public funding to lower tuition costs and increase the quality of education, universities are contributing to administrative bloat, undertaking expensive – and unnecessary – construction projects, and shifting the bulk of teaching to less expensive, less experienced adjunct professors.

  • From 1987 to 2012, universities and colleges hired 87 administrative and professional workers a day.

  • Universities have borrowed more than $205 billion to cover construction costs, and long –term debt rose by 12 percent a year from 2002 to 2008.

  • Adjunct professors, which make an average of $20,000 a year, make up over half of higher education faculty.

“In an era of austerity it is difficult to imagine how the government could continue to support policies that encourage reckless practices by universities,” says Mirzadeh. “With parents and students forced to foot the bill for universities’ higher expenditures, it is likely they will begin to question whether a college degree is worth it.”

The Higher Education Bubble: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib156

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