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Overview

America's colleges and universities are the best in the world. They are also the most expensive. Tuition has risen faster than the rate of inflation for the past thirty years. There is no indication that this trend will abate.

Ronald G. Ehrenberg explores the causes of this tuition inflation, drawing on his many years as a teacher and researcher of the economics of higher education and as a senior administrator at Cornell University. Using incidents and examples from his own ...

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TUITION RISING

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Overview

America's colleges and universities are the best in the world. They are also the most expensive. Tuition has risen faster than the rate of inflation for the past thirty years. There is no indication that this trend will abate.

Ronald G. Ehrenberg explores the causes of this tuition inflation, drawing on his many years as a teacher and researcher of the economics of higher education and as a senior administrator at Cornell University. Using incidents and examples from his own experience, he discusses a wide range of topics including endowment policies, admissions and financial aid policies, the funding of research, tenure and the end of mandatory retirement, information technology, libraries and distance learning, student housing, and intercollegiate athletics.

He shows that colleges and universities, having multiple, relatively independent constituencies, suffer from ineffective central control of their costs. And in a fascinating analysis of their response to the ratings published by magazines such as U.S. News & World Report, he shows how they engage in a dysfunctional competition for students.

In the short run, colleges and universities have little need to worry about rising tuitions, since the number of qualified students applying for entrance is rising even faster. But in the long run, it is not at all clear that the increases can be sustained. Ehrenberg concludes by proposing a set of policies to slow the institutions' rising tuitions without damaging their quality.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Unlike businesses, which strive to keep costs at a minimum, universities must spend to make themselves as attractive as possible to their constituents. Ehrenberg, a senior administrator and professor of economics at Cornell University, examines the factors influencing the spiraling tuition costs of the past decade: the need to spend money to have the best facilities, faculties, and learning tools in order to attract the best and brightest students, the need to spend for athletics and other programs to keep alumni support strong, the self-governing nature of university faculty, and the increasing pressure to spend in order to increase ratings in external publications. Observes Ehrenberg, "As long as lengthy lines of highly qualified applicants keep knocking at its door no institution has a strong incentive to unilaterally end the spending race." This highly readable examination of the American higher education system is an excellent addition to any public or academic library.--Mark Bay, Univ. of Houston Lib. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Academe
In Tuition Rising: Why College Costs So Much, Ronald Ehrenberg provides a concise and compelling explanation of the influence of academic governance processes on rising university expenditures and tuition charges… His book is a rare and insightful primer on the intersection of governance and finance.
— Edward P. St. John
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674034433
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ronald G. Ehrenberg is Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell University and Director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.

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Table of Contents

Preface

I. Setting the Stage

1. Why Do Costs Keep Rising at Selective Private Colleges and Universities?

2. Who Is in Charge of the University?

II. Wealth and the Quest for Prestige

3. Endowment Policies, Development Policies, and the Color of Money

4. Undergraduate and Graduate Program Rankings

5. Admissions and Financial Aid Policies

III. The Primacy of Science Over Economics

6. Why Relative Prices Don't Matter

7. Staying on the Cutting Edge in Science

IV. The Faculty

8. Salaries

9. Tenure and the End of Mandatory Retirement

V. Space

10. Deferred Maintenance, Space Planning, and Imperfect Information

11. The Costs of Space

VI. Academic and Administrative Issues

12. Internal Transfer Prices

13. Enrollment Management

14. Information Technology, Libraries, and Distance Learning

VII. The Nonacademic Infrastructure

15. Parking and Transportation

16. Cooling Systems

VIII. Student Life

17. Intercollegiate Athletics and Gender Equity

18. Dining and Housing

IX. Conclusion

19. Looking to the Future

20. A Final Thought

Appendix. Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2000

    Wow! Ronald Ehrenberg Does It Again!

    Tuition Rising: Why College Costs so much is by far the most important work of Mr. Ehrenberg's highly esteemed career. This masterpiece thoroughly describes the underlying causes of the rising costs of college tuition and is a must read for academics, administrators, and parents of college-age children. Ehrenberg's explanation and analysis of the inefficiencies associated with university costs and administration bring new insight into the inner-workings of the university as an institution. Bowen and Bok beware -- this is a truly impressive work.

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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