Tanking Up for College Costs
AFFORDABLE COLLEGE FEES will haunt me in the years ahead but I know the situation in Ireland is much more accommodating than in the States.
President Obama put American colleges on notice this semester, saying that if college fees do not stop rising, federal financing will drop. Obama has laid out proposals addressing both affordability and accountability. These kinds of financing league tables should be part of the Irish discussion too--along with several other factors raised in NHPR's 54 minute Exchange audio clip that accompanies this blog post.
The audio includes contributions from Paul LaBlanc (President of Southern New Hampshire University), Todd Leach (Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire), Michele Perkins (President, New England College) and Richard Vedder (Director, Center for College Affordability and Productivity).
I think there should be more transparency in Ireland about the leading cost factors inside third level education. Parents and students should know the salary levels of top administrators, professors and staff. Fees for part-time lecturers should also be disclosed. And then the wage packets of the PhD researchers (working poverty for some) also deserves public attention.
It's my impression that a lot of funding is required to keep the physical plant working and those sunk costs make several of Ireland's older institutions more expensive than newer structures. I might be wrong in that estimation, so I'm curious to see how the numbers stack up.
In the meantime, I'm planning to pay for college fees in the years ahead. It's more important than ever to get finances in order.