How To Cut The Cost Of College

American universities. The cost of college. And how to rein it in.

A protester stands outside a teleconference meeting of the Board of Regents regents of the University of California, on the campus at UCLA Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.  (AP)

A protester stands outside a teleconference meeting of the Board of Regents regents of the University of California, on the campus at UCLA Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. (AP)

Apart from health care costs, there’s almost nothing that goes up in this country like the cost of college.  Up and up and up.  Way faster than inflation.  Families struggle to pay it.  Students, graduates, struggle to pay it off.  Last week in his State of the Union address, and in Ann Arbor, the President he’s going to do something about it.

Reward colleges that bring down costs.  Punish those that don’t.  There is all kinds of reaction to that, and a lot of thinking about how to change to rein in tuition.

This hour, On Point:  Point of pain.  Getting a grip on the cost of an American college education.

-Tom Ashbrook


Henry Eyring, Advancement Vice President at BYU-Idaho, and author of The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. You can find an excerpt from the book here.

Jeff Selingo, editorial director of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and author of the blog “The Next,” about innovation in higher education.

Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, the largest higher education system in the country. She was one of a dozen higher education leaders to meet in December with President Obama at the White House to discuss ways to bring down the cost of higher education in America.

From Tom’s Reading List

 CNN “Imitating Harvard is a problem for two reasons. One is the cost: If you don’t have a multibillion-dollar endowment and government research funding, the only alternative is to raise tuition. The other problem is that the basic elements of the Harvard model of education are roughly 100 years old. Thus, its imitators have, with the best of intentions, become expensive, exclusive and distanced from the nonacademic world.”

New York Times “Most people stressed that they, too, wanted to make college education more affordable. But when it came to the particulars of the plan — and paying for it — there was no consensus. ”

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Blending the personal with the political—and playfully responding to shouts of support from the audience—Mr. Obama made clear that the college-cost themes in this 35-minute speech would set the tone for a continuing national discussion that will be central not only in his administration’s coming budget fight with Congress but also as he campaigns around the country for re-election.”


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