Another cost is technology. How often do you replace your computers? Universities try to drag it out to 5-6 years or so, but as you know, at that age they stop being compatible with the latest software, the software stops being supported by the company, etc. etc. Every single administator on campus has a computer, every secretary, the library is full of them for students, the computer science labs are full of them. Every 5-6 years the university has to buy all new computers. (It's actually on a rolling basis, but you take my point.) Thirty years ago there were probably eight in a lab somewhere. Now there are thousands. It's a huge expense. Not as bad as the drop in state subsidies, but not negligible.
Yes, when I earned my first degree in the late 80s, I graduated never having touched a computer. Today that's unthinkable.
Yes, some people pick majors with little hopes of getting a job in the future, or what-have-you. These people with 6-figure school debts don't need pity parties thrown for them, but it wouldn't hurt to have some sympathy for a large group of people who are starting out in life behind the eight ball. Some of these cases are frivolous or short-sighted, but there are some that aren't, too.
What I see in high school today isn't so much people choosing degrees with little hope of real jobs (i.e., Theater or Women's Studies); rather, it's kids that "overshoot" their own abilities. Okay, part of this is that I'm teaching all remedial classes this semester, but among my students -- again, remedial classes -- this year's "favorite major" is Pharmacy. Yes, a good 10% of my students genuinely think they're going to take their 1.2 high school GPA ... do a short stint in community college ... then transfer to a 4-year university ... go on to grad school ... and work in this competitive field. Among them I have one potential vet and a whole bunch of engineers. Oh, and one future pediatric surgeon. Note that the potential vet took "Foundations of Biology", which is Biology for the kids who can't make it in real Biology (yes, a person who's really going to make it in vet school needs to have aced
Honors Biology, then moved on to AP Biology... probably AP Chemistry too); and a bunch of the engineers are taking similarly mediocre math classes.
It's not that their plans are bad. Their plans would be fine for another student -- a student with top grades, ability and motivation.
I try to steer them towards more realistic programs. For example, for my group of girls bent upon Pharmacy, I talked about the two-year programs at the community college that would allow them to work in a health care field after two years: Radiology, Surgery Tech, Respitory Therapy, Dental Hyg. (Okay, the dental jobs have sort of peaked, but the others are very realistic.) And they look at me like I'm crazy: They don't "connect" the idea that their high school performance is in any way connected to the jobs they're going to be able to hold in the future.
So, bringing my point home: All the 18-year olds who borrow big bucks aren't necessarily ignorant of the fact that they're going to have to pay back $$$$$. Rather, they feel SO SURE that once they're working in a pharmacy, in their own vet clinic, in this or that other high-paying job, it'll be easy to pay back. Yes, their logic is flawed ... but not always in the terms you describe.
And what happens LATER is that they realize they can't make it in Engineering ... and that Gender Studies class was really fun -- and if it didn't lead to a job, they wouldn't offer it, would they? -- so they change their majors. Few of my students ENTER college in a frivolous major.
I thought sports programs were revenue centers for colleges. I guess it depends on the school and the specific program, but my impression was that the big popular sports earn profits, and other sports programs are paid for by that.
I'm paying college tuition right now, so I'm "up" on this topic. None of my daughter's tuition goes to sports; however, if you look at the breakdown of her fees, about $100 or so each semester goes to sports, just as other fees go to fund the health center, the library, etc. However, her school admits students into games for free -- not all universities do that. I think they DO make big bucks from the athletic program -- or at least from football, but they ALSO take a bite from the students.
I was an A and B student in high school, so I got some scholarships and grants, but full-ride scholarships are mostly for athletes and straight A types.
Incorrect. These days, the only people getting full rides are military kids. The straight-A crowd is
getting full tuition plus a couple other smaller scholarships that chip away at their living expenses.
Possibly, which could take a decade or more to do leading to a glut of non lendable/educated students. Or the other option is that, just like SweetBriar last month, they decide to bankrupt and close their doors totally, leaving graduated students with a near worthless degree, and thousands of currently enrolled students in the lurch.
Yeah, that happened to a worthless little private college near us some years back. They lost their accreditation, and that led to their closing their doors.