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CCAP In the News

Posted on January 7th, 2013, by Leave a comment

On Forbes, Richard Vedder discusses the ever-increasing rise of tuition, and the possibility of liberal-arts colleges going bankrupt:

Colleges have so far gotten away with their price hikes by making it easy for students to borrow money. But now the customers are tapped out. They owe $1 trillion, and they are having a rough time repaying that debt with the kinds of jobs available in today’s economy. Vedder notes that 115,000 janitors have bachelor’s degrees.

Kiplinger’s focuses on college rankings and the best values from public college, and quotes Richard Vedder:

The outlook for new grads isn’t much better. Many recent graduates are swapping mortarboards for part-time or low-paying jobs, while tackling student debt. “The notion that college is a ticket to a good, middle-class life of prosperity is perceived to be less true today,” says Richard Vedder, of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Still, a typical college

grad can expect to make about $20,000 more per year than the typical high school graduate.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on the number of administrtors necessary for a university (and whether “administrative bloat” actually exists). They quote Jonathan Robe and CCAP’s May study of the University of Nebraska system:

Even when academic programs aren’t in danger of elimination, “administrative bloat” can be an issue, says Jonathan Robe, a research associate at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. “It takes away resources from the research, teaching, and public-service mission of the university and diverts them to other areas of spending that don’t have a direct relation to those core missions,” he says.

Mr. Vedder says he joked at the time of the report’s release that if he stretched all the system’s excess administrators end-to-end, they would extend from the steps of the state Capitol across the Cornhuskers’ Memorial Stadium football field. “Everybody laughed,” he says. “But no one disagreed with my calculations.”

Before the end of the year, Richard Vedder published an op-ed in Bloomberg on research universities and their overblown assumptions of benefits:

U.S. total research spending was estimated at $436 billion for 2012, in a forecast done by the Battelle Memorial Institute, absorbing $2.85 of every $100 of U.S. output. What may come as a surprise is how little of the work is directly financed by universities themselves — about 3 percent of the U.S. total, according to the National Science Foundation.

Nor are U.S. universities conducting most of this work, either. More than 80 percent of research dollars in the U.S. goes to applied research and development, very little of which

is financed or carried out in university facilities, but in corporate laboratories.