It's lazy to lay most of the blame for the skyrocketing cost of college tuition at the feet of state lawmakers, as colleges and universities must accept some of the responsibility as well, an education expert said.
Illinois' universities are quick to say they're getting less, and that's partially true.
Temple University professor Doug Webber said it's lazy to simply say schools are raising tuition to make up for what the state isn't spending. Much of the money that used to go to university classrooms is now going to university pensions, professor pay or to layers and layers of university administration, Webber said.
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"There are absolutely schools where administrative bloat is the dominant reason for the rise in tuition, but there are also schools where the dominant reason is professor salaries,” Webber said.
States across the country are spending less on higher education at public universities, but Webber also said that tuition is skyrocketing at private schools that don't get any state money.
Webber said the root of the problem is that higher education needs to change its business model.
"The financial calculus of college now is nothing like it was 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago," Webber said.
Webber said tuition is, indeed, rising with the proliferation of federally backed student loans, almost dollar for dollar in some cases.
Webber also said there's a crisis on campus of saddling young people with $200,000 in debt for jobs that pay $30,000 a year.