brickman wrote:Is there good data on how our tuition is being spent? Is it just going to the construction of increasingly unnecessarily nice buildings? Honest to god, I need to understand how the hell they can justify the cost beyond the blanket statement that it is just "the price you pay for a graduate degree".
Nobody is forcing you to attend a particular school. If you don't agree with the tuition, you can easily go elsewhere. If it doesn't make financial sense to do so, then it's not as bad as it seems.
Making nice buildings and such, from what I understand, is derived from the university endowments. Tuition is for the operating costs of the school - as in huge libraries need to be kept up better than those schools that use loopholes to get ABA accredited with sub-standard libraries, for instance.
Naw its not that simple.. school funding, especially private schools, is really complex. Their board votes that a certain percentage of endowments can be used each year(usually towards operating expenses and aid) then tuition also goes toward operating expenses and then they often have certain "funds" that call alumni and get smaller donations that can be directed toward certain departments and generally at least a portion of that goes towards operating expenses. In addition, they generally have a bunch of other endowed funds set up to fund things like building, securing speakers, specific professorships and other crap. Tuition alone almost never covers operating expenses.
That said, a lot of schools waste a ridiculous amount of money. I used to attend a university of 2200 students. The money that went to administration costs was absolutely ridiculous. For example, there were like 3 assistant dean of students and each had their own individual secretary. Not to mention the NYC consulting firms they used to hire to help determine the optimal time to have a universal break in classes for lunch (not joking).
The problem is that 1) education is becoming inherently more expensive as it becomes more advanced 2)You have to compete for enrollment to a certain degree 3) for state schools, governments have no problem just cutting their budgets and telling them to figure it out and 4)Rankings mean you have to spend at least a certain amount to kind of keep up with the Jones'.. this fourth one is especially important for law schools I would think.