State Cuts to Public Funding of Higher Education Responsible For Increases In Tuition Costs


The Real News Network has the interview State Cuts to Public Funding of Higher Education Responsible For Increases In Tuition Costs.

DESVARIEUX: But it hasn’t always been that way, right? Let’s take a look at one of the graphs from your report. We see that students didn’t always shoulder such a large share of the costs of public higher education. For example, in 1987, students paid close to 20 percent of their tuition, and in 2012 it’s inching closer to 50 percent. How has it changed in the last 25 years? Who’s funding public universities?

LEACHMAN: Yeah, well, that’s exactly right. What’s happened is that the states’ share, state and local funding, has gone down, and tuition has risen to sort of risen to fill that gap. So if you look over the last 25 years, per student revenue from state and local government, it fell by about $2,600 after you adjust for inflation–that’s per student–$2,600. Over the same period, tuition increased by $2,600. So, in other words, the entire increase in tuition at public colleges and universities over the last 25 years has gone to make up for the state and local funding cuts.


I have always assumed that the tuition rise at colleges was related to the cutting of government funding.  I think this is the first report I have seen that backs up my intuition about the cause of the problem.

The unwillingness to invest in this country’s future seems to have been passed down to us from the most wealthy.  The 1% loves the free ride of being able to gather a huge fortune as long as somebody else pays for the society that makes it all possible. They don’t seem to notice that if they take it all, there is nobody else left to pay for what they refuse to pay for.

When I say the sickness has been passed down to the rest of us, I don’t mean the people who are scrambling for the crumbs left by the 1% could be expected to make up for what the 1% take out of society.  I mean that the 99% ought to vote for a government that stops giving the 1% a free ride.  Somehow the 1% has convinced enough of the 99% to think that ending the free ride for the 1% would be bad for the 99%.  The 99% have been convinced that they need to act “responsibly” in spite of the fact that the 1% won’t.  The 99% just do not have the resources to make up for the failures of the 1%.

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