Why College Costs Are Rising

My favorite higher-ed commentator is Kevin Carey.

I’ve got him on my Google Alert because I always enjoy reading anything he writes. Carey recently became director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, which is a respected think tank in Washington, DC. You can learn more about him here.

Carey has no interest in writing about college admission nuts and bolts. He is a gifted commentator who looks at sweeping  issues such as what would the higher-ed world look like if colleges and universities loose their monopoly on awarding credentials that employers value. Don’t read his stuff if you want to learn how to get your kid into Harvard.

I am mentioning Carey because he was a guest on Fresh Air, an National Public Radio program, this week talking about a wide range of college issues.  You can listen to the 39-minute discussion here. If you don’t have time to listen, here is the transcript.

I’m sharing one section of the interview that focused on what is driving up college costs:

In the interview, Carey was asked to name the “classic poster child” for the craven activity cited above (that’s my adjective not the interviewer) and Carey provided three names: George Washington University, New York University and University of Southern California.

You can learn more about what schools like GWU, NYU and USC  are doing by reading this excellent piece by Daniel Luzer in the Washington Monthly: Prestige Racket.


More Articles from Kevin Carey

Here are a few articles that Carey has written that you might enjoy:

The Higher Ed Monopoly is Crumbling As We Speak

In this New Republic article, Carey provides a fascinating look at the smart players that are threatening colleges and universities with “disruptive” methods of learning that could someday make credentials as valuable as degrees and significantly drop prices.

Stop Smiling. Your Parents Sold You Out

With Americans owing more than $1 trillion on their student loans, here is more from Carey on why college costs so much.

Academically Adrift: The News Gets Worse and Worse

In discussing the blockbuster book that suggests that many college students are learning essentially nothing, Carey urges a much broader examination of how and whether colleges and universities are succeeding in educating students.

A Future Full of Badges

Accumulating badges instead of credit hours that could dramatically transform the higher-education world and make it cheaper and more convenient to obtain the equivalent of a college degree.

College for $99 a Month

What the next generation of online education could be for students and its catastrophic consequences for universities.

The X Factor

A blog post about online efforts by some of the nation’s most elite research universities.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of second edition of The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, which was released in May.

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2 Responses to Why College Costs Are Rising

  1. Carolyn Lawrence July 12, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    The Prestige Racket article should be required reading for all students and parents looking at college options. One of the best explanations of the role “enrollment management” plays in higher education that I’ve read. Thanks for shaing these, so more people can see beyond the hype.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy July 12, 2012 at 4:05 am #

      Hi Carolyn,

      The Prestige Racket is one of my all-time favorite stories about college costs.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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