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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colleges need to lower tuition, not demand more taxpayer money

  The dirty little secret of education is that many colleges have huge endowment funds, yet continue to increase their rates year after year, even though accruing college loans means a lifetime of debt payoff for many students.
  In addition, these same colleges take federal grant and loan money from you, the taxpayer, in addition to building their own endowment funds.
  Harvard, for example, has an endowment fund of almost $32 billion. CNS reports that, if Harvard had contributed a bit to their students, they still would have had a huge increase in the fat fund they're accumulating for themselves.
Had Harvard settled for an increase in its endowment of only $4,165,115,843--instead of $4,170,676,000--it could have covered the entire cost of all the federal loans and grants that the taxpayers provided to its students in the 2009-2010 school year. 
In that case, Harvard’s endowment would have increased from $27,557,404,000 to only $31,722,519,843—instead of the full $31,728,080,000 it achieved.
  Yet still, Obama points his fingers at wanting more taxes from wealthy Americans (a decreasing population) rather than asking the pretty darn wealthy educators who take huge salaries, build fancy digs for themselves, work minimal work weeks and can retire with huge salaries to limit their increases or at least share the wealth with the students.
  Full college professors at these universities earn up to $200,000 a year, while associate professors average $114,000. How hard do they work? WaPo: 
...nine to 15 hours per week for 30 weeks, making possible a month-long winter break, a week off in the spring and a summer vacation from mid-May until September.
  Professorial salaries are the "largest single cost" of university budgets, up to "39%."
  Again at the WaPo:
An executive who works a 40-hour week for 50 weeks puts in a minimum of 2,000 hours yearly. But faculty members teaching 12 to 15 hours per week for 30 weeks spend only 360 to 450 hours per year in the classroom. Even in the unlikely event that they devote an equal amount of time to grading and class preparation, their workload is still only 36 to 45 percent of that of non-academic professionals. Yet they receive the same compensation. 
  Mind you, these are the same academics encouraging students to protest bank officials, private entrepreneurs and anyone who is in private industry. 
  These are the same academics who criticize everything the private sector does, who claims certain policies are racist or sexist or classist.
  These people who earn significant salaries with few required work hours are the ones who tout their knowledge as tv commentators (earning yet additional dollars) that our society is unfair because students accumulate so much debt.
  Why don't they part with some of their endowment money in these times of need, one might wonder?
  In fact, tuition costs have risen 15% in the last five years. SmartMoney says:
New figures show university endowments averaged total returns of more than 19% for the fiscal year ended last June, the second consecutive year of gains, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund, a nonprofit asset manager.
Yet schools say they can't cut tuition until their endowments have had more years of strong growth. 
  Once students graduate, reality bites, you might say.
  Perhaps this is why younger voters are moving away from Obama unless, of course, they work for him.
  The Boston Herald wonders when the higher education bubble will burst, if it hasn't already:
The Class of 2012’s college dreams are being battered by a perfect storm of skyrocketing college tuition and fees, tightening credit, and diminishing federal aid that is even making public universities a strain for recession-battered families. 
“We’re seeing a lot of kids in tears,” said John Garofalo, guidance director at Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston. “Kids feel like, ‘Jeez, I did my part, so how come I can’t go?’ Some parents are saying, ‘We’ll cover year one, and take it from there,’ but a lot of other kids are looking to start out at community college for a few years.”
  Once again, we see that Obama's strategy has little to do with reality and more to do with ideology. 
  Who cares why college tuition rates are rising? 
  Why do anything to fix the real problem? 
  Who cares if lawsuits increase the cost of health care? 
  Why do anything to fix the real problem? 
  Who cares if racial relations in this country are at an all time low?
  Why do anything to fix the real problem?
  Who cares if the economy sucks, big time?
  Why do anything to fix the real problem, when you can blame Bush, the Euro or ATM machines?
  He needs to go.
  And universities need to take a trip to RealVille.

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