Worried about deflation? Then you’ll love what’s happening to college tuition.

We keep hearing about falling prices and intense deflationary pressures and the “new frugality,” but somehow the nation’s colleges and universities haven’t gotten the word.

In Rhode Island:

The R.I. Board of Governors for Higher Education voted last Monday night to raise in-state tuition and fees at the state’s three public colleges by 8 to 10 percent for the school year that starts in September 2010. At Rhode Island College, tuition will jump 9 percent to $6,986 for in-state students. Out-of-state students will pay $16,878. On top of the tuition increase, the board voted to raise the price of room and board by 5.1 percent at both the University of Rhode Island and RIC, bringing the cost of living on campus to $11,083 at URI and $9,519 at RIC.


In California:

As part of a plan to plug UC’s battered budget, the regents may vote as early as next month on the controversial, tradition-breaking proposal to require engineering undergraduates, along with those studying business, to pay $900 more a year than the rest of the student body. That would be in addition to the $2,514 systemwide fee increase all students are likely to see by next fall. 

In Alaska:

The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted to increase tuition … in the UA system Friday at a two-day meeting in Juneau…. Currently, undergraduate tuition for a full-time student enrolled in 15 credits, the normal course load, costs about $4,500 per year. Using that same course load, tuition will rise to $4,755 beginning fall of 2011. In fall of 2012, tuition will rise to $5,115 for the same course load.

In Colorado:

Colorado college students … could face another 9 percent tuition increase in the 2010-11 school year. 

In spite of the tuition increases (almost twice the rate of inflation for medical care during the past 25 years! why do we have a “health care crisis” but not a “university tuition crisis”?), enrollment at most schools continues to rise. Evidently, many students (or their parents) don’t think twice about borrowing $30,000, $40,000 or even $50,000 per year to pay for “education” of dubious benefit. Someday, the flow of easy credit to students will be cut off or sharply reduced.  When that happens, the higher ed bubble will burst. Harvard and Yale will be fine, of course, but many second-tier private colleges won’t make it. That day of reckoning, however, is far off.  Until then, our nation’s colleges and universities will continue to post larger price increases than virtually any other sector of the economy.


One Comment on “Worried about deflation? Then you’ll love what’s happening to college tuition.”

  1. […] on evidence of rising prices at the consumer level (see, e.g., our posts on health insurance, college tuition, used cars, new cars, tires,  gasoline, air fares, pharmaceuticals, parking, utilities, and, […]

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