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Interesting read from Dan Kane which could impact all NC Universities



  • HighstickHighstick Posts: 340PFN Referee
    Could this shift things??
  • freshmanin83freshmanin83 Posts: 1,529PFN Referee
    I read the article and may need to read it again to digest the whole thing. In principle I am for competition. I am not sure the Higher education system set up as it is lends itself well to that idea. What kind of shifts do you think this could bring?
  • HighstickHighstick Posts: 340PFN Referee
    Does this shift the "Power Brokers" at the top who have dictated the scheme of things in the UnC System?  Does "push back" come with this???

  • skitchwolfskitchwolf Posts: 31
    From Article IX of the state Consitution:

    Sec. 9.  Benefits of public institutions of higher education.

    The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.

    I attended NC State in the mid-seventies and then again in the late eighties.  As I recall, my tuition in 1975 was $275 per semester and in 1987 I think it was about $450.  According to the NC State website, undergrad in-state tuition and fees is now $4,550.30 per semester.  That's 10x what it was 30 years ago.  I don't track such things closely but I can't think of anything around that costs 10x what it did 30 years ago except health care.  (And we KNOW what a train wreck cost-wise that is.)  I know that spiraling education costs are also well-documented so I'm not going to expand on that.  

    Having noted that and in light of the Constitutional mandate noted above, I'd say that we need a Board of Governors that is laser-focused on controlling costs and reducing costs to NC citizens.  As I understand it, NC State and UNC system schools are still considered an excellent value (credit where credit is due) so it's not all bad, but clearly we need to do some SERIOUS re-inventing, re-thinking, re-whatever-ing to make a college education financially accessible to as many NC citizens as possible.  If that means the BOG ends up encroaching on the sacred turf of the potentates of the UNC campuses, then so-be-it.  Clearly, someone needs to upset the business-as-usual situation and put the education of the citizenry first.

    OK, that's my two-cents-worth.

    Go PACK!

  • HighstickHighstick Posts: 340PFN Referee
    Agreed on what you said.  I started in the Fall of 63 and tuition was $110 a semester, in 1972 when I graduated(4 years in the Army in between), it was $210.  In 77-78, when I was a grad student at ECU, it was around $450.  What I've seen happen in South Carolina and, I think, North Carolina is that when we were sold on the bill of goods regarding education lotteries, is that funding was offset by lottery money.  That was not supposed to be the case in SC and I cannot remember about NC.  But, what I was paying for my son in 1998-2002 for tuition has exploded into 4-5 times as much.  At the rate we're going, I hate to think what my kids are going to have to cough up for my grandkids.

  • freshmanin83freshmanin83 Posts: 1,529PFN Referee
    Sounds like some shaking up is needed in the system. 
  • didn't Georgia do this when they approved the lottery?

  • Fastback68Fastback68 Posts: 750

    NC is #9 in terms of population and the university system has not kept pace. Conflict of interest for most of our glorious “leaders” is an understatement. The state is losing so many talented kids to the SEC and others. I just wonder how many kids come back home after graduation. I remember when they projected State enrollment between 50-75k 20 years after the 1986 Dorothea Dix land grant.

  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,453

    I think UT is 24k a year...in state.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 2,519

    I have been tracking the “posted” or estimated cost of both STATE and UNC since the mid 2000’s as I am managing and funding a 529 for my GK. The cost has risen into the mid 30’s and the inflation was more than 10%. UNC & STATE were within a few hundred. Then, the UNC BOG redid the model. They were probably realistic if the parents were footing the bil without any constraints. But then, they (the infamous variety) redid the model and went Quaker Spartan.

    My model still uses the mid to upper $30’s. If you look at the details, then there is about reality in the personal and such as the NCAA controlling UNC.

    Why else would folks have such exorbitant loan costs?


  • PIRPIR Posts: 97

    Our oldest is 3 years from starting college so we have glanced at some in-state prices and were shocked at how much more expensive State is than just 16 years ago when we graduated. Of course it's not just State that has gone up significantly, but that was the one we had personal experience with. Our kids have some 529 accounts that I used to think would cover their education, but now it will only cover a fraction. We're really pushing for the dual-enrollment option in order to have an associates degree by the time of finishing high school and then just have two years remaining. Heck, I'd even consider pushing towards Clown College, but I can't stand the thought of one of my offspring going to UNC.

  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 421

    I agree with skitchwolf. Can't totally imagine why costs have gone through the roof. There is no way I could have gone to college in 1979 if the costs were relatively the same. As it was, being the oldest of six from a family tobacco farm, my folks could not even give money to me to help out. (Lots of walking with little food is a great weight loss program!) Personal grit and dedication got me through to the goal. All that with a total loan of under $5000 that took a while to pay off in the latter half of the 1980s and early '90s. (Government work didn't pay all that much at the time.)

    It seems to me that there has to be a way to cut tuition and other fees/living expenses so that a degree is cost effective. I think the student should pay but why so much? One year's worth of tuition/expenses should really be more in line with three or four years worth. Or am I in fantasy land?

    My son would like to get a music education and then go to State. It's looking really tough for him to do either. To put our children into massive debt and to go into virtual servitude for years or decades just to get a degree doesn't seem worth it.

    Okay, </rant> over. Back to the general pleasant conversation.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 2,396

    UT-Austin is roughly 21-22k/year including R&B, books and such. UH, A&M, TT are all about the same price.

  • RickRick Posts: 2,186PFN Referee

    have you seen the NCSU campus lately? It is a complete arms race. Constant upgrading buildings and adding things that are not relevant to learning.

  • Pack78Pack78 Posts: 354

    Which one? I hear we have three campuses now (kinda illustrates your point)!

  • My understanding is there are the factors that have driven costs up everywhere: student loan accessibility, admin costs, the arms race of lighter abs lighter faculty loads for teachers.

    And then there are the factors unique to NC. This isn’t meant to betray the board politics rule, but there has been more abs more legislative hostility and some from admin, particularly within the OSBM, toward the UNC education system. This was more pronounced a few years ago. But when funding is cut, the cost is born by the student enrollee and/or family. Similarly, nc has historically kept out of state tuition fairly low to attract talented students. Now, I don’t know the impact, but we have lots of state supported schools as well. I’ve often wondered if so many were needed. But to even raise that conversation ruffles so many feathers, it’s fairly impractical for political reasons.

  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,453

    It’s no mystery why the price to attend has increased at ALL colleges.

    First off, there’s zero deflationary factors driving it down:

    1) It’s still necessary for a significant percentage of Americans.

    2) While expensive, it’s still more likely to result in financial well-being than the alternative

    3) From a STEM perspective, there is simply more to teach.

    4) These classes are usually taught by individuals who command above-average compensation.

    5) The federal government is heavily involved in financing tuition.

    6) The federal government model for fulfilling the loan obligations encourages many “customers” to ignore the true cost of the good.

    7) The schools themselves are subject to the same non-mission related federal, state and local regulations that increase the cost of doing business.

    8) What Rick said.

    9) Items 1, 2, 5,6 and 8 allow the prices to increase steadily without fear of losing too much business.

    There’s literally nothing that we do drive these prices down (as a country.) The best thing North Carolina is doing is providing a significantly cheaper alternative without too much of a reduction in quality in its Community College network. (This allows a further asterisk on meeting the State constitution.)

    If we want to get serious about reducing the cost of higher education, we’ll reduce federal involvement in the funding. I also think lots of parents are waking up to the fact that some of these schools are offering perks that aren’t necessary. But for an elite / close to elite state, I am sure they believe they have to keep up with the Jones’ and with the current funding model, what’s to stop them?

  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 571PFN Referee
    edited June 2019

    Our oldest is 3 years from starting college so we have glanced at some in-state prices and were shocked at how much more expensive State is than just 16 years ago when we graduated.

    My first semester in the Fall of 1978, tuition was $235 and a dorm room was $250 per semester (no meal plan...not even a cafeteria on campus). I knew a lot of people from the surrounding area that lived at home and worked part time jobs to get through college. That approach is not workable any more.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,636PFN Referee

    This is all true, and all lamentable. I have a child starting there this Fall.

    But it's also unequivocally true that an NC State education/acceptance is more "prestigious" than it was in 1991-95, when I was there and paying next-to-nothing. Hell, I didn't even have to write an essay to get in, the application took like 15 minutes, hand-written. I always made As in high school, was a good test taker, and had loads of family alumni.

    It was as big a deal for my kid to get in as it was for my contemporaries who made it for the School of Design, etc.

    I don't know what to make of it all.

  • choppack1choppack1 Posts: 1,453

    Yep - totally different back in the 80s...but a 30k job then wasn’t the equivalent of a 180k job now.

    Things change. It’s much more competitive now. That’s good and bad, right? The bad news is tuition... it encourages reckless financing for far too many young people.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,110PFN Referee

    Something has to be done about the massive student debt load taken on by the graduating students. Millennials are going to be an interesting study in macro-economics. Their lives and upward mobility has already been stunted by their collective student debt. Paired with a bad time to enter the economy, I suspect a significant portion will never pay it off.

    That debt load undermines their ability to buy homes, which is how most Americans save. The older generations are going to wake up and realize it's their problem too. They won't be able to sell their homes when they desire to downsize because the Millennials won't be able to purchase them. Either that, or they're going to be sold for significantly lower than expected.

    That debt load and instability is delaying Millennials' marriage rates and ages for having children. These are the types of forces that ultimately cause population decline (e.g. Japan), particularly if paired with anti-immigration policies. Without more workers, many of the systems that are set up for the elderly, etc. end up going away. We're all in it together.

    I see people in this thread blaming the Federal Government, but without them, these are all private or for profit universities. The debt load there is even higher. I'd argue we need the Federal and State governments to do more, not less.

    Most first world countries (including places like Latin America) offer free tuition for their equivalent of state supported schools. How can places with a fraction of the resources of the USA be able to do so, not to mention that it is done in Europe and Canada? The answer borders on a political debate, but I think it is one we should individually ponder.

    One could argue that the education received in the colleges and universities in the USA is better than other countries. I can buy that, and it feeds into the supply and demand part of the argument. Foreign students can be placed at US colleges with perfect TOFLs (without being able to speak any more English than I can speak Mandarin) at whatever price the US institution wants to charge. Should US schools not take them? They often pay for a lot of the other students.

    I do see signs that some things are changing. It starts with the most competitive universities. Most of the Ivys at this point are offering free education. That allows them to be even more selective, which gets them the best students, the best faculty, the most prestigious rankings and keeps that all mighty grant money rolling in. Hopefully we see that model starting to be emulated by places like Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, etc. that have the next largest tier of endowments. A very interesting case study would be if UT-Austin or TAMU decided to try this path.

  • RickRick Posts: 2,186PFN Referee

    The reason the federal government is a part of the problem is because of all the loans they give out. Its the cobra effect. What was intended to make tuition more affordable has done the opposite because the easy money drove the cost way up.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 2,110PFN Referee

    Rick: Could the same not be said about housing?

    The thing I've seen driving the costs up are:

    • Admin staffs vs teachers
    • Facilities
    • Perks for students
    • What the market will bear

  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 421

    An honest question is, what do the universities do with endowments? Especially those in the Ivy League.

    By the way, one of my first cousins went to Yale in the 1980s (she is now an M.D.). Even with her excellent grades, she could not get a full scholarship. I'm sure the competition for scholarships are fierce today.

  • RickRick Posts: 2,186PFN Referee

    "Rick: Could the same not be said about housing?

    The thing I've seen driving the costs up are:

    • Admin staffs vs teachers
    • Facilities
    • Perks for students
    • What the market will bear"

    2-4 are directly related to all of the "free cash" floating out there. None of those three happen without a glut of people with money to spend.

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