Let's not waste time today. The cost of higher education in the United States is becoming oppressively expensive without a commensurate increase in quality, modernity, or relevance.

A bit of casual empiricism reveals that ballooning administrative staffs are largely to blame. As enrollment (demand) and tuition (price) grow together, clearly the university's top lines are rapidly increasing. Many colleges are nonprofits, and that extra revenue has to go somewhere. It sure isn't going towards hiring more full-time educators. Just by searching the Internet, I've found some questionable administrator roles which were recently added at one school:

Though I've not worked in academia, my observations also indicate that many professors are stuck as adjuncts. They are basically part-time disposable contractors with little incentive to excel or display loyalty to the institution. Why pour your soul into research and development for a school that sees you as expendable? I'm sure the bloated administrative staff is behind it, citing the costs of full-time and/or tenured educators.

The problem is exacerbated as a result of reduced Federal and State funding for schools. Amazingly, at the same time, the Federal Government continues to lend vast sums to high-risk, poorly capitalized borrowers (i.e., teenage students) with no collateral. There's even a thing called "strategic default" for students that know they cannot repay. What a great way to enter young adulthood.

As a father, this bleak outlook has me less than excited about my daughter attending college in the traditional sense. Even today, there are many alternative learning paths via trade-based certifications, online learning, workshops, and good old-fashioned reading. Everyday, college in the US seems less attractive from an ROI standpoint.

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