Published on 2012/03/09

Harvard A Better Deal Than Your Local State School

It’s a new world for higher education, one where attending an out-of-state Ivy League university is a better deal than an in-state public institution, according to Ross Kenneth Urken’s article posted to Daily Finance on Wednesday.

According to Urken, tuition has been rising both at public and private institutions. But, while spending per student increases with the tuition increases at private institution, at the average state school higher tuition rates are used to account for lost state funding.

Ultimately, students at public institutions wind up paying more out of pocket for less product. As Urken puts it, “prestigious schools long perceived as catering to those with elite pedigrees and family wealth are becoming a better economic bet for middle-class families than the public universities that were founded to serve them”.

This cycle of decreased funding comes back to high unemployment rates, according to Urken. Since state residents have less income, overall tax income for state governments is reduced and the pool of financial aid available shrinks.

This leads to reduced services from the higher education institutions. When impacting services like course offerings, students can actually be forced to pay an extra year’s tuition to be able to graduate.

Public institutions are in crisis, but the clout that comes with a college or university education makes the experience a necessary evil for anyone looking for a stable career and sustainable income.

“The college graduate vs. high school graduate earning difference has not diminished in recent years, so college still is a great long run investment, although people graduating in the worst economic period since the depression certainly won’t feel that way in the short-run,” Ronald G. Ehrenberg, the head of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, told Urken.

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