By Arnold Kling
Why is college tuition so high? In an essay, I argue that colleges today offer more lifestyle consumption benefits.
college represents a different bundle of services than it did thirty years ago, and part of where the increase in tuition goes is to pay for this rise in aesthetics.
I also question whether colleges have kept up with the information age.
If freshman economics is going to be taught in large lecture format, then instead of 20 universities each putting a professor in front of 250 students, a single lecture could be broadcast to all 5000 students. My daughter’s economic class was given by that distinguished lecturer, A. Warm Body, who seems to wind up teaching the majority of courses nowadays. With modern communication technology, this is inexcusable.
For Discussion. In the conclusion of the essay, I wonder whether the end result will be one in which the college is a brand name, but the actual function of education is outsourced to companies that hire professors and develop curriculum. Would this be effective in higher education?