Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Higher-Ed Bubble

Magazine article The Wilson Quarterly

The Higher-Ed Bubble

Article excerpt

THE SOURCE: "Will Higher Education Be the Next Bubble to Burst?" by Joseph Mart Cronin and Howard E. Horton, in The Chronicle of Higher Education May 22, 2009.

AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE dot.com and housing markets, will the next irrationally inflated bubble to burst be higher education?

Educators Joseph Marr Cronin and Howard E. Horton think it might. With tuition, fees, and room and board at dozens of private institutions now topping $50,000 a year, some parents are questioning whether it is worth $1,000 a week to send their kids to college. The middle class has traditionally paid for higher education through loans, but home equity has withered and jobs are at risk. Congress recently raised the Pell grant limit from $4,731 to $5,350 a year. Potentially a big deal for the federal budget, the increase doesn't even cover an extra week at some private universities.

College tuition and fees have increased 440 percent over the last quarter-century, more than four times the rate of inflation. And even demographics are conspiring against the current college finance model. …

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