Your Parents, No – Your Neighbors, Yes

In the warped world of this writer, asking students and their parents to pay for their own college educations is problematic and unfair. But somehow asking neighbors, families, retirees, strangers, and childless adults down the street to pay for your college education is not only fine, it’s preferred.

College Cost Burden Is Shifting To Families, Treasury Department Says: There is a “fundamental shift” underway in how college is being paid for, Jan Eberly, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for economic policy, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Families are bearing a larger share of the cost of college than before, a troublesome trend as Americans have suffered record declines in wealth.

The original WSJ piece.

Families to Shoulder Rising College Tuition Costs, Treasury Official Says – Real Time Economics – WSJ: Higher education is critical for economic mobility, but rising tuition costs and a decrease of public funding means that more of the financing responsibilities could be shifted to family wealth — a particular challenge in today’s economy, the Treasury Department’s top economist said Tuesday.

Tuition has more than doubled over the last three decades, said Jan Eberly, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury. But underlying that trend is a “fundamental shift” in education financing, particularly at public schools.

As public funding has been withdrawn, tuition now accounts for more than 40% of revenue, up from only 20% in the late 1980s, Ms. Eberly said. During the same time period, state and local government support fell by almost the exact same share, she said.

Related links:
Thomas Sowell On Medicare and Other People’s Children

  • John

    If people paid for their own education, the price would go down, way down. It’s the classic third-party payer problem.

    However, people can’t afford to pay for their own education because so much of their income is taken away in taxes to, among other things, pay for education! If government would simultaneously stop subsidizing education AND return to tax payers the money that has been spent on education (directly and indirectly) then education would be more affordable.

    • Chris Meisenzahl

      And the people down the street are paying for your kid’s education, what if they have a kid in college, too? Do you need a third family further down the street paying for him?

    • speedmaster

      And thanks very much for taking the time to post, John. I appreciate it.