46 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • JANUARY 2019
FAMILY & EDUCATION
WHY SO EXPENSIVE?
BY ROBERT A. SCOTT
Parents, politicians, and pundits
often complain about the cost of college,
since tuition has increased 100
percent at four-year public colleges
— an increase that exceeds the rate
Average tuition is $3,660 at twoyear
public colleges, $10,230 at
public four-year universities, and
$35,830 at private institutions, making
it difficult for talented students
from low-income families to enroll.
The major reason cited for increases
at public institutions is the reduction
in state support, which has
declined nationally by $7 billion
since 2008. Increases in healthcare
premiums, facilities, recruiting
costs, student support services,
meeting accrediting standards, legal
requirements, and technology
upgrades also increase costs.
Some have proposed free tuition
as the answer. Unfortunately, while
making college free would reduce the
price to families, it does not address
the fundamental costs of college
operations. Branding, athletics, and
instruction all require administrative
scrutiny and audits.
Families can learn about college
costs and student success by using the
federal College Scorecard website at
collegescorecard.ed.gov to compare
institutions’ average annual costs and
graduation rates. On Long Island, for
example, Hofstra’s cost is $31,815 while
its graduation rate is 62 percent.
At nearly one-half the cost, St. Joseph
its graduation rate is second highest
in the region at 70 percent.
One structural problem that is
rarely addressed is that of curriculum
excessive credits for graduation can
to Careers in
College’s charge is $16,976 while
Biology or Earth and
majors with financial
need can become
A: Academic support
S: Scholarships for 4-years
P: Professional mentoring
I: Internship opportunities
R: Research early immersion
E: Enrichment activities
Prepare for employment and/or graduate studies in a science-related field
For additional information
Contact Dr. Maureen Sanz | 516.323.3405
This program is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation
increase costs for colleges and students.
Another structural problem
is that of creating scholarships by
discounting tuition, which leads to an
sticker-price increase for all students
in order to provide enrollment incentives
to some. The result is a decrease
in the net revenue available for basic
services and quality enhancements.
Some colleges discount tuition by
more than 60 percent.
The benefits of higher education are
known and we as a country need more
citizens with advanced degrees. The
correlations between college completion
and employment, income, health,
and civic participation are strong.
Education and political leaders
must find ways to make college affordable
to more people by making
changes in the institutional cost
structure, controlling tuition and
other increases even more rigorously,
and funding more scholarships.
Robert A. Scott, Ph.D., is president
emeritus of Adelphi University and
author of How University Boards
College tuition bills are outpacing
the rate of inflation.