One of the things I've come to appreciate about BYU is how much financial
aid they provide to their students. Many, many BYU students receive full- or
part-tuition merit-based scholarships, which are rare at most public
universities. Also, BYU is committed to hiring students whenever possible, which
provides those students not only with a convenient source of income, but in many
cases, opportunities to apply and expand the knowledge they're gaining in
their studies. Tuition at BYU has risen over the years, but they are more
committed than most schools to keeping higher education affordable.
Much of the time, university administrators seek endowment funds in order to
differentiate themselves from other universities. These funds, in addition to
providing scholarships, are used to send students abroad, purchase research and
teaching equipment that would not normally be available, hire better faculty,
support student clubs, etc... On the one hand, using endowments in this way
allows students to have a better experience than they would normally have if the
endowment were not in place. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see
what higher education might look like if a more spartan approach were taken and
endowments were used to basically increase access.
continued ...As a higher education administrator, I find that for
some students, lack of financial resources does stand in the way of earning a
degree and becoming more educated. I also find, however, that motivation and
lack of preparation during their time in K-12 plays an even larger role with
many of our students. In the state of Utah, one could earn a four year degree
with only some $4,000 per year of tuition (books and fees would take it closer
to $5,500). With a combination of part-time work and living at home, many if
not most fresh high school graduates could make this happen relatively debt free
if they were willing to make other consumption sacrifices. Many, however, feel
a sense of entitlement that not only makes foregoing other consumption in favor
of education a distasteful choice but that also makes spending long hours
studying so as to truly become educated a poor option.
Re: "Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa . . . questioned whether increased access
to student loans allows schools to spend their endowments on fancy facilities .
. . ."Of course it does."Educators" in the
"higher ed" industry have zero incentive to lower costs to students.
Rich rubes are routinely inveigled to make restricted donations to a particular
department, specific endowed chair, specific facility [often to be named for the
donor or a relative], or specific research area, by assurances that government
has undertaken to fund student costs, so they shouldn't feel a need to
assist in that area.Benefit to students of these donations is nearly
nil, but the benefit to already-overpaid "educators" and administrators
is patent.The result of 35 years of aggressive fundraising for my
own [state-owned, graduate-level] alma mater is a five-fold increase in posh
physical plant, nearly seven-fold increase in staff and faculty [including
adjuncts], six-fold increase in the number of "deans," and
inflation-adjusted tuition about 6 times what I paid.Obviously, no
regard whatever for student costs.
With something like 40ish percent of schools losing money on their football
programs, its amazing that the football programs are not cut.And
tuition continues to increase despite the budget busting non-sustainable sports
programs. I agree with Grassley. Schools need to be held accountable for
building "fancy facilities instead of using them to lower tuition"