There are many components to rate hikes. Inflation is the most obvious. (names of political figures removed by moderator.) There is (a) local inflation, there is (b) official inflation, and there is (c) real inflation. Where are most most higher ed institution located? Population centers. For more than 100 years now people have been moving from rural to more urban areas. Costs in urban areas have outpaced rural areas. Everything in urban areas is becoming more expensive quicker than average. Labor costs, land costs, taxes. Higher ed is largely non-profit but that doesn't mean they pay no taxes. The employees certainly do. So if a university is located in some urban area with high income taxes, those taxes are ultimately paid through tuition. So that's (a) price pressures from local inflation. Then there is (b) official inflation which everyone knows is underestimated. Tuition will always run at least with (c) real inflation. So yes, of course tuition has outpaced official inflation, since higher ed has to pay real people and buy real products.But if as an employee of a university you still feel attacked by my post, maybe you can help me better aim it. You tell me, who is responsible for hiking the tuition each year? What person or group of people within or associated with the university chain of command gets to decide how much the service costs? That's who my post is aimed at. That perpetual rate hike is the component of this situation for which the university is culpable.
Then you have regulatory price pressures that only increase with time. New laws are made all the time. So the cost of legal compliance keeps going up and up. Even laws from all over the world create expenses for US institutions since a number of students are foreigners.
There are price pressures for safety on campuses, especially lately. There are private police departments to pay for.
There are price pressures from a very litigious society. As I have mentioned before, mental health counselors, diversity officers, all kinds of mediation and student conduct officers, the list is endless. None of these positions even existed not that long ago.
Now take everything above and compound it for a few decades. Every single group of people you can think of is responsible for rising costs. Including kids and parents.
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