More Anti Higher Ed Heresy
Along the lines of my earlier rant about higher education, got this little gem in today's National Center for Policy Analysis daily e-mail that suggests spending on higher education isn't the great benefit that educrats say it is:
COLLEGE SHEEPSKINS ARE A BAAD INVESTMENT FOR STATES
The plea from all university presidents is the same: more money please.
They argue that if the government invests more money in higher education
the economy will grow. In a sense this is true; but, increased funding
for universities does not lead to greater prosperity, in fact, it may
even reduce it, says Richard Vedder (Forbes).
A comparison of the growth in real per capita income of states that
spend more on higher education than states that do not supports Vedder's
o Low-support state New Hampshire surpassed neighboring Vermont on
nearly all economic measures, even though Vermont spent more than
twice as much of its personal income on higher education (2.3
versus 1.15 percent).
o Missouri, another low-support state (1.32 percent), grew faster
than its neighbor Iowa (2.41 percent).
o Additionally, Vedder compared 10 states with the highest state
funding with the 10 lowest and found that the low-spending states
had a median growth rate of 46 percent in real income per capita
versus 32 percent in high-spending states; the median income for
low-spending states was found to be $32,777, or 27 percent higher
than high-spending states.
Vedder says colleges have devoted little funding to the core mission of
instruction. Instead, they prefer to "assist research, hire more
nonacademic staff, give generous pay increases, support athletics and
build luxurious facilities."
o In 1976, three non-faculty professional workers were hired for
every 100 students; since 2001, that number has doubled.
o Additionally, nearly 40 percent of students fail to graduate
within five or six years.
Moreover, he says, taxes reduce private-sector activity, so increasing
funding to universities would move resources from the relatively
productive private sector to the less productive and efficient sector of
higher education. The cure, concludes Vedder, is for state governments
to slash their support.
Source: Richard Vedder, "College Is a Bad Investment," Forbes, June 20,
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