How Colleges & Universities Should Cut Back

I’ve talked to lots of parents who are wondering how they are going to foot the college tab with their investments in tatters.

Hey, I’m right in there with everybody else with a sophomore attending a private college and a junior in high school.

While parents like me are grappling with how to compensate for college account losses, universities are also going to have to do more than look for spare change under sofa cushions.

Richard Vedder, a respected higher ed observer at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, came up with a list of ways this week that colleges and universities can cut back — to which I say amen. Here are a few of them:

Teach more classes. It’s a dirty little secret that the teaching load of full-time professors has been declining for at least 50 years. At research institutions, senior faculty rarely teach more than four classes a year. (Anyone else find that appalling?)

Call a truce on athletic arms race. Universities spend way too much money on football and other high profile athletics — and it usually comes at the expense of academics.

Slow down the academic arms race. Every school wants fancier buildings and superstar professors to lure more students. I alluded to this phenomenon in the blog that I wrote in September when I visited my alma mater — University of Missouri —  for the 100th anniversary of its journalism school.

Reward efforts at institution three-year bachelor degrees.

Learn how to evaluate schools and reduce their price tag by reading The College Solution.

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