why the cost of college has skyrocketed in the past 20-30 years.


why the cost of college has skyrocketed in the past 20-30 years.

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most students take out loans to pay for college, but those loans don’t come from the college. When students can’t pay, the college doesn’t care – they got paid already. Since it’s generally accepted that you have to go to college to get a good middle-class job (and said jobs are expecting you to go to college), anyone who wants one has to go to college no matter what the pricetag is. So as long as there’s not any significant competition on price, colleges can charge basically whatever they want and continue to make money.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because the cost in the past was lower thanks to government subsidies on higher education. Those subsidies have been continuously reduced, primarily by GOP politicians so the money the students have to pay has gone up.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The US government basically underwrote loans for any student that could get into a college. Teenagers make bad decisions, colleges wanted the money.

Next thing you know, college is an experience, beautiful campuses, sports facilities, all the bells and whistles to attract more students. Money was no object because the gov was paying, at least up front.

At the same time the average cost went up the rising volume of graduates made a degree standard/required for jobs that never needed them before. The high demand further increased price and still the government gave loans to anyone and everyone.

TLDR; Teenagers with “free” money and the job market requiring a degree for every decent job.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is an important economics concept called purchasing price parity.

Essentially, the price of a good is influenced by the ability of the purchaser to purchase, not just by the cost to manufacture.

So, everything in the Phillipines is relatively cheap because most native Phillipinos are relatively poor. You take your 80,000 dollar US salary to a nation where thats quite a nice upper middle class salary, and you’ll live accordingly.

The same effect is observed in subsidized markets. When you make more money available to be spent on college, you don’t actually reduce the consumer burden, you just raise the absolute cost. The true value hasn’t changed, and the true value of the labor being performed to obtain the money hasn’t changed. If you inject money, the prices change to reestablished equilibrium.

It’s like if the first dollar everyone spent on chocolate bars at gas stations was covered by the state, then the price of chocolate bars would just go up a dollar, and nothing would change.

Nothing except that anyone who does t jump through the hoops to get their state chocolate credits, is now being fucked

Anonymous 0 Comments

Oh, and another thing. There’s a finite number of students a school can teach without

1.) Capital investment
2.) Reducing cost per student

If 1 million people want to go to a school and there’s .5 million seats, then you have to price .5 million people out of the market. If you introduce subsidies to enable that bottom .5 million to pay the higher price, you’ve just recreated the same problem. So, the price goes up even more back out of reach od those bottom .5 million.

Nothing changes, except for the people not receiving subsidy. They get screwed

Anonymous 0 Comments

Same reason you see peoples not having living wage but yet C-suite with bonus over the huge wage.

Greedy companies or individual just wanting more money into THEIR bank account. (Then you also have some teachers and school that try to do the same things on top of that)

Anonymous 0 Comments


There are several parts to this cost increase.

– Depending on your location, governments may be investing less into education, so the student pays more.

– Students expect more from their residence. Compare rent cost increases with residence cost increases

– Food costs more and often food preparation costs (cafeteria) are also included.

– The cost increases of the various parts of an education. (books cost more. Teachers cost more)

**You asked about “cost of college**, which is a bit vague. The cost of everything has gone up, and in some areas that used to greatly fund education, this is no longer the case.

If you add in financing charges for student loans, the gost goes up again.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because college has become more and more price inelastic due to additional student loans and scholarships available.

What does that mean? Well, because over the past couple of decades it has become easier and easier for students to fund their college education—because of public initiatives increase federal student loans, additional scholarships, more prioritization of college educations—colleges can now raise their prices and earn more in additional costs than they lose in missed out revenue. They can raise prices and it not hurt their bottom line because students are able to pay whatever price they must.

This is why student aid fails, it makes paying for college easier and therefor actually increases costs of college. Same goes for any market where politicians are quick to find remedies and solutions to the costs. Healthcare is expensive because of insurance and medicaid. Houses are expensive because of mortgages. The list goes on.