Those of us who daily enjoy the grand settings of America’s established universities may be forgiven for thinking they will last forever.
Many have lasted centuries, and for at least some of us, things have never been better. Ranks of eager applicants vie for admission – more than we can accept. At the University of Delaware, our incoming freshman class is the largest (4,200) in our 271-year history. Nearly all these students are backed by parents who remain ready, if not eager, to shoulder the ever-rising cost.
But there’s a crisis coming, and you don’t need an advanced business degree to see it. America’s universities are pricing themselves out of the reach of the middle class.
Despite our efforts to hold down costs, state funding for higher education continues to erode, and bills keep getting higher. This year’s 1.9 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees at UD is our lowest in more than 30 years, but it has still bumped the price tag to $30,700 for out-of-state students and $12,300 for in-state. The average cost in the United States is now $27,900 for in-state and $40,000 for out-of-state. Many parents are being forced to choose between their own future and their children’s. <Read more.>