Policy Forum

Taking Control of Spiraling College Costs

Watch the Event
Date and Time
October 6, 2009 12 - 2 PM EDT

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the event, please email our staff at events@​cato.​org.

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.

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.