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Merit Versus Need

October 21st, 2013 by dfarish

The New York Times published an article by Catherine Rampell on Sept. 24 titled “Freebies for the Rich.” (Another version of the same article was published in the Times Sunday magazine on Sept. 29.)

In the article, Ms. Rampell points out that, at public universities, the share of aid devoted to “merit” has tripled, to 29 percent, over the past two decades. She also points out that metrics used to determine merit, such as SAT scores, are closely correlated with family income: whereas only one student in 10 receives merit aid in families earning less than $30,000, one student in five receives merit aid in families earning over $250,000.

Our ‘Best’ Universities: Investment Companies That Do a Little Teaching on the Side?

October 15th, 2013 by dfarish

When did money become the yardstick by which universities measure themselves?

What prompts this question is a Sept. 24 article in The Boston Globe, reporting an increase in Harvard’s endowment during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, of 11.3 percent, to $32.7 billion – a gain in one year of roughly $3 billion. In the same article, the Globe mentioned that Harvard has also just announced a new capital campaign with a goal of $6.5 billion, to be completed by 2018.

‘College Education Is Underpriced.’ Really?

October 7th, 2013 by dfarish

Yep, that’s the title of an op-ed in Forbes on Sept. 12, 2013. (Actually, the full title is, “There’s No College Tuition ‘Bubble’: College Education Is Underpriced.”)

Well, that contention came as a bit of shock to me, writing as I have been for many months about runaway sticker prices, and how colleges and universities need to address the issue before the federal government does it for them. What gives?

The author, Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Georgia, is a believer in the free market system and a self-described libertarian. Let’s see how his reasoning holds up.