Toolkit: Encouraging Fiscal Responsibility in Higher Education

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars is pleased to release a new toolkit for citizens concerned about the increasing financial toll college education exacts on families and students. Over the last twenty years, increasing college expenditures have driven millions of students into debts they can’t afford. Why did this happen and what’s to be done?

Today, NAS is hosting a webinar to discuss the toolkit. Join us as Priced Out author Neetu Arnold and NAS director of policy Teresa Manning, release a new toolkit to encourage state and national legislation to rein in profligate college spending and discourage excessive student debt.

Our recently published report, Priced Out: What College Costs America, details the growth in student loan debt and administrative bloat. The report combs the spending habits of 50 universities and shares the worries, thoughts, and hopes of students, parents, and college administrators to investigate the psychology behind students’ decisions to take on overwhelming debt and the choices administrators make in spending that tuition.

Priced Out found that:

  • Tuition increases at public universities far exceeded their losses in state funding; in other words, state disinvestment cannot be the sole cause of rising tuition. Administrators mostly used tuition increases to pay for increased university expenditures.
  • The total number of administrators and staff grew by roughly 50% between 1987 and 2018, driven by a 94% increase in the “Executives” and “Other Professionals” categories.
  • Universities devoted increasing amounts of their resources to government relations, marketing, and public relations, at the expense of undergraduate instruction.

In this toolkit we include resources for NAS members and concerned citizens to advocate for responsible public policy to rein in college costs and administrative bloat, thus helping millions of Americans as they seek a higher education.

Join our webinar

Join us today at 2 pm ET as we discuss why college education has become prohibitively expensive for so many families.

Send a letter to a college president.

College administrators and other support staff have ballooned in the last two decades. College leadership must work to rein in these administrators by cutting staff, instituting a hiring freeze, and refocusing on instruction, not management.

Download our letter to college presidents.

Send a letter to your members of Congress.

The federal government provides billions of dollars in subsidies to colleges and universities. It has also created complicated and expansive regulations that require more administrators to ensure compliance. Congress must immediately recognize its role in increasing the costs of higher education and work to mitigate the damage misguided legislation has caused.

Find your members of Congress.

Download our letter to members of Congress.

Send a letter to your state representatives.

State legislatures control the majority of higher education funding for public institutions. They must make education a priority and put pressure on their state’s colleges and universities to make enduring administrative reforms.

Download our letter to state representatives.


Photo: LSU Twitter

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