BlogOctober 26, 2005 12:07 AM ET

pardon this rant

You're either comatose or extremely ignorant if you remain unaware of the increasing cost of a college education. According to the College Board, tuitions rose an average of 10.5% (public colleges) and 6% (private colleges) in 2004. In 2003, the average increase was 13% (pubic colleges). Meanwhile, in recent years the inflation rate for the United States has hovered around 2.5%. Tuition increases have also dwarfed average household income increases. So why the rapid rise in tutition?

Most schools will tell you that increases are a reaction to the increased cost of goods and services provided. Ok? Additionally, they have to account for rising human resource expenses, such as the cost of health care. There is a bit of truth to this I suppose, but I'm still not sold.

Now I don't want to indict the smaller schools, but to me, the large colleges and universities are participants in a government funded racket. Harvard, Yale, Standford, Notre Dame, USC... these fuckings schools have so much money it's not even funny. Do you know what an endowment is? Specifically, it's "funds or property donated to an institution, individual, or group as a source of income." Have a look at the top 10 college endowments in the United States as of 2004:

RankInstitutionEndowment
1.Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)$22,587,305,000
2.Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)12,740,896,000
3.Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)9,928,200,000
4.Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford, Calif.)9,922,041,000
5.Univ. of Texas System Administration (Austin, Tex.)9,360,113,745
6.Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)5,869,800,000
7.Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)4,493,085,000
8.Univ. of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)4,243,352,775
9.Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)4,086,000,000
10.Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.)4,083,958,000

If you're interested, you can view the top 50 here. Anyway, these schools have A LOT of fucking money. It should be noted that althought Harvard had $22 billion in 2004, that number is now up to $27 billion. Let me repeat that... 27 BILLION DOLLARS. That's essentially money sitting in the bank earning interest. They still garner money from tuition costs. Yet, when their expenses supposedly increase, god forbid they touch their endowment. Instead, they just raise their tuition. All of these schools do. It seems criminal to me. Adding insult to injury, the schools don't even pay taxes on their capital gains and donations are tax-deductible for donors.

Keep in mind that there is a lot of help out there for students. There is currently over $122 billion available in student aid. So if you're attending a school whose sticker price is $27,000 a year, you're likely paying much less than that. However, the school still gets their money. Instead of the student shelling out the money though, it's the government, which ultimately means it's you an I, the taxpayers.

During halftime of the USC and Notre Dame football game a few weeks ago, viewers were treated to a tour of Notre Dame's football facilities. The spectacle was excess at its most disturbing: private TV lounges (for players only), a recruiting lounge with 40 ft. high arching ceilings, a private meeting facility larger than your local cineplex. I just can't help but think that something is amiss at our country's "finest" institutions.

How will anybody be able to afford a top echelon college in ten years? At this rate, only the wealthiest Americans will have the resources to send their children to Princeton, MIT, and the University of Michigan. We already have a problem with poor, uneducated citizens in our country, right? This is really going to help!

So, this winter, when Penn State sends you a mailer requesting a donation, think about their $1.5 billion endowment, their 35,000 tuition-paying students, and the $4 million they get for putting the Nike swoosh on their jerseys. Fuck them.


32 comments

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at_dawn_they_come_ 10/25/2005 9:14:21 PM

I, for one, will be repaying college loans until i die.

agent_friday_ 10/25/2005 9:18:32 PM

a-fcking-men mr web.

erk_ 10/25/2005 10:27:29 PM

haha...i always tell my school to fck off. they beatd me enouygh when i wasthere

holycitybradley_ 10/25/2005 11:23:21 PM

I think it should be noted that almost all college level education is free in Europe to Europeans. (with the exeception of maybe England). The Cost of tuition is definately outrageous. Its never going to slow down either. When I started school 3 years ago I paid a dirt cheap rate of 1,900 a semester, but since I know pay 3,300 a semseter, almost double in three years. It should be also noted that the amount of lower income students in colleges is also very small considering the number of student

StreetForce_ 10/25/2005 11:42:01 PM

not to mention state aid keeps getting cut to public schools (at least in nj)

din_ 10/25/2005 11:56:23 PM

lol @ pubic colleges! 13% increase is a bit hairy!

hxcobd_ 10/26/2005 3:08:52 AM

Awesome rant, and wholeheartedly agreed.

sawtooth_ 10/26/2005 8:06:01 AM

that's ridiculous. i'm going on a killing spree of college deans across the nation.

john_doe_ 10/26/2005 12:30:29 PM

yeah, those endowments are ridicurous. i like my school and all, but as an alumnist, i don't think they need anymore of my money. no surprise that the athletics dept. (especially division I schools) reaps the most benefits out of the money. tutors. practice facilities. study buildings. gyms. freebies (cars, etc...you know it happens), meal tickets. if you have kids, better start training them to get a sports scholarship when they're young. otherwise it's devry university for you!

Richie_ 10/26/2005 1:41:15 PM

I just paid $1200 for one grad class at the University of South Carolina. Plus I owe the guvment over $20000 for undergrad at podunk Kent State University in Ohio. That shit aint Harvard and Ill be paying til 2015. fck. Where can I sell bodily organs?

battles_ 10/26/2005 2:26:56 PM

college is a fcking scam

senorscarlet_ 10/26/2005 3:03:30 PM

Those endowments may or may not have a lot to do with the fact that the top Universities are also considered "Research" Universities. I go to UCLA and their excuse for undergrad's costs going up (as compared to their endowment) is that they are sinking more funds into R & D. I just hope they find a fcking cure for cancer or something like that. If they don't, these costs are not doing the citizens justice.

emoxfag_ 10/26/2005 4:02:05 PM

awesome. im never going to get anywhere in life now...

ese_bauber_ 10/26/2005 6:30:51 PM

I'm at UM, total expenses for the year is 38,000 dollars. fck.

Jason_ 10/27/2005 12:40:41 AM

4 Biochemistry classes = 1000 Canadian Dollars.. feels good to be a Canuck sometimes

Wes_ 10/27/2005 8:28:20 AM

I'm at PSU university park, I really don't want to know how much of my tuition money goes to our football team.

marching_band_rules_ 10/27/2005 12:27:26 PM

Awesome blog. My family is really pretty poor, and yet my tuition just recently increased in literally a matter of days. I probably shouldn't have bought that Terror hoodie last night.

max_ 10/27/2005 1:35:18 PM

right now i'm paying about 210$ per semester.

deez_nutz_ 10/27/2005 2:36:35 PM

When I graduated from OSU, I wrote a letter to the president complaining about how the state of Ohio had just lifted the 6% yearly tuition increases, so that Ohio State would be able to 'maintain their competitive edge on similar universities' by raising tuitions. I made the comment that the school should change their name to The Ohio State Corporation. That's exactly how schools are run, for profit. Colleges care more about football and corporate sponsors than libraries. It's a racket, like

tony_ 10/27/2005 2:48:49 PM

here in georgia we have the HOPE Scholarship, available to GA students that maintain a B average through high school and college (although it might be on the way out soon). my wife only spent money on books in her 4 years at Georgia State, except for the last semester, which cost her like 200-something bucks. i, on the other hand, have about $30k to pay back.

junk_ 10/27/2005 2:54:48 PM

so glad i paid for what little college i attended(2yrs) in cash

manbitesdog_ 10/27/2005 2:59:30 PM

A lot of schools with big endowments are planning to move from aid emphasizing college loans to full grants--I know Princeton is doing this. They claim this is why they are keeping tuition prices up now--in future more students will be given full rides if they have high score but show financial need. Big endowments, heheheheh

Art_ 10/27/2005 8:01:03 PM

fck Princeton. Both the school and town are nothing but rich douchebags who need to be spin kicked in the face. Anyone here at MCC can fck em up good.

ben_ 10/28/2005 2:41:56 AM

ughhhhhh i wish i played football and scored some easy cash here at penn state.

Lukecubed_ 10/30/2005 5:07:19 PM

College tuitions began to skyrocket in the 90's. Blaming the institutions themselves is just a proximate cause, one has to realize that (though perhaps they should not be) schools are first-and-foremost moneymaking enterprises, businesses. Long story short, in the 1950's the US government was terrified of the USSR overtaking us in areas of science, mathematics, and medicine, and made it a central focus of national policy to get as many kids into college and get the best educated populace we co

Lukecubed_ 10/30/2005 5:10:47 PM

The price of textbooks, on the other hand, is most definately a scam that traces directly back to greed on the part of textbook companies and many, many individual professors with something to gain in pretty much every discipline.

d4n_ 10/30/2005 8:54:28 PM

LETS GO BRONCOS!

ryan_ 10/31/2005 6:16:02 AM

Yea, i also like to ironically throw around the word ignorant and make totally one-sided arguments about issues in an attempt to turn them into black and white issues...remember, everyone that isnt you or someone you know well/support is evil and has the worst intentions, mostly against you specifically you angry paranoid fck. The only person who has demonstrated any knowledge here is the guy talking about the cold war. That being said I too feel the pain of outrageous tuition but I wont preten

ryan_ 10/31/2005 6:18:05 AM

Haha ok so I just noticed I misstated myself, that one guy was talking about the ussr in the '50s not during the cold war, but that doesnt really change my statement

james_ 10/31/2005 9:47:14 AM

ryan....be quiet.

$hiz_ 11/4/2005 10:06:31 AM

You also have to realize that tuition is high because the government will always supply a certain percentage of aid for certain students. For example, I go to Boston University, and i got $37,000 of financial last year. This year i got $39,500 because BU raised tuition. And theyre just gonna keep doing it until the government stops paying a flat percentage for individuals. BU has raised tuition/housing fees every year for about 20 years, and they always end up on top because of the aid poli

solideogloria_ 11/6/2005 2:15:56 PM

seriously, fck college. my tuition went up to almost twice what it used to be this semester. I'm not even sure if I can stay in school at this point.