Contributing opinion writer
Taking the Ivory Out of the Ivory Tower
Higher education appears to be locked in a vicious cycle: Students of color have less access to support and mentorship, leading to less faculty diversity, which in turn makes it harder for students from underrepresented communities to envision themselves in faculty positions. Underrepresented students should be supported at every step on the path to professorship.
Average Annual Investment Return
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. All values are adjusted for inflation.
Unhedge University Funds
An extra percentage or two goes a long way when we’re talking about funds on the order of billions of dollars. That money from the endowment could be used to fund any number of projects that improve educational quality in the present — investments that will pay greater long-term dividends than simply accumulating money in university hedge funds.
Rising Tuition? It’s Not About Sticker Prices
Rather than worrying about listed tuition prices, we should instead focus on the net tuition paid by students in different income brackets post financial aid. Universities should engage in more aggressive price discrimination, shifting from merit-based to need-based aid and forcing the wealthy elite to foot the bill so that low- and middle-income students can attend college functionally for free.