1/06/2015

The subsidy for students going to state colleges keeps going up and up

Click on figure to enlarge it.

A lot is being made about the fact that students at public universities are covering a greater percentage of the costs of their education.  But students still only cover 25% of costs. The Washington Post makes a big deal about the fact that the share of state funded university expenditures that the students cover is more than that covered by states? 

The problem is that people are only covering a tiny fraction of the cost of their education. Going from 17% to 25% of costs is an improvement, but the absolute size of the subsidy has increased. Why should we be increasing the absolute size of the subsidy for the future wealthy (those who graduate from college will earn above average incomes)? All state college expenditures would have to go up by only 11 percent from 2003 to 2012 for the absolute subsidy to have gone up. In fact, inflation went up by 25% over that time. If that was how much state college costs went up (we can dream that they only went up that much), the total subsidy increased 13% faster than what students paid.

I haven't taken the time to look it up, but clearly university expenditures have gone up by much more than inflation over that period of time.

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