Higher Education: Resources and Finance

By Seymour E. Harris | Go to book overview

average.19 It is difficult to understand why higher education should be so expensive in these states. I can think of two possible explanations: the national market for faculty, with the result that faculty pay is tied more to national levels than to lower income and cost-of-living standards in the South; and the large number of relatively low-enrollment IHL and hence high unit costs. The high cost in the South is all the more surprising in view of a standard that is probably below the national level.20


EDUCATIONAL EXPENDITURES IN RELATION TO INCOME AND STANDARDS OF LIVING

Table 25-9 will be useful for the analysis of Chapter 26. It gives rankings of public educational outlays, all and higher, in relation to personal income, and also the burden of expenditures per student in relation to per capita income.


SUMMARY

Details state by state follow in the next chapter. Here are several points for special emphasis:

Any interstate comparison suffers from elements of incomparability. One example is the effect of varying percentages of full-time students to total enrollment, or the percentage of graduate students. Obviously a unit cost of $1,000 for a state where full-time students and costly graduate students are relatively numerous does not necessarily mean higher unit costs in any meaningful way as compared to another state where unit costs are $800 but enrollment is heavily part-time undergraduates. This is aside from varying standards.

Another example is the inclusion or exclusion of organized research as a relevant expenditure in estimating instructional costs. Much can be said on both sides. My McGraw-Hill table includes it; the current table excludes it.

Should local government expenditures be included in comparing government outlays on higher education? Yes, if we are to compare all public expenditures. But since state governments are the main support of public IHL, a case can also be made for comparison of state outlays. Inclusion of local outlays makes a difference, especially in California and New York, and to some extent in several other states. Since state tax revenues, as a percentage of state and local, varied in 1957 from 26 to 79 per cent, the inclusion of local taxes necessarily has some effect.

As was noted earlier, the material in this chapter reveals high grades for effort for the less affluent states, and low grades for achievement. In general, states with sparse population, high traditions of public higher

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