By Paul Campos
Despite spiraling tuition, government subsidies for higher education are—contrary to popular belief—at an all-time high.
Claims that college tuition in the U.S. has risen because of reductions in legislative subsidies for higher education are at best gross oversimplifications—an argument I made in New York Times piece published last month. I noted that, although tuition at public colleges and universities has nearly quadrupled since 1980 in real terms (and tripled at private ones), total state appropriations have also risen dramatically.
It’s true that, at the state level, the 48 percent inflation-adjusted increase in legislative spending over the past 35 years hasn’t kept pace with the roughly 60 percent increase in enrollment in public institutions of higher learning. (Interestingly, because of the demographics of the baby boom, the number of adults between the ages of 18 and 23 in America today is almost equivalent to that in 1980, so the recent college-enrollment explosion has very little to do with overall population growth.) CONTINUE READING HERE