Taking Control of Spiraling College Costs

Policy Forum
October 6, 2009 12:00PM
Auditorium/Wintergarden
Featuring Robert E. Martin, Professor Emeritus, Centre College; Kevin Carey, Policy Director, Education Sector; George Leef, Director of Research, John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy; and Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute. Moderated by Mary Beth Marklein, Education Reporter, USA Today.
Rising at a faster rate than even health care costs, the price of college is skyrocketing into the stratosphere. In The Revenue-to-Cost Spiral in Higher Education, economist Robert E. Martin posits that the problem is rooted in the ability of most colleges to succeed by maximizing their prestige rather than their profits, resulting in their spending every single dollar they get. He argues that transparency is essential and that the government should have a key role in producing it by requiring schools to report on how their money is used. But can government force colleges to open their books and reveal the true cost of their operations? And would doing so really set higher education on a road to pricing sanity? Or is another reform — curtailing abundant government student aid — the true key to stopping the college-cost spiral?

Please join us for a critical debate on how to contain out-of-control college costs.