Friday, May 16, 2008

Tuition Times Two

“The Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) is currently among several Jewish organizations trying to ease the high costs of Jewish education, which is a financial burden felt by the vast majority of Jewish families” (Z. Eleff, “CJF and OU Prepare to Combat 'Tuition Crisis,'” The Commentator, 3/2/06).

“Tuition Rises Yet Again” (Commentator headline, 4/10/03)

“Undergraduate Schools See 10% Tuition Hike” (Commentator headline, 5/15/06)

1998-1999 Undergraduate Tuitions and Fees
Tuition: $14,920 per year
University Registration Fee: $150 per year
Student Fees: $110-160 per year
Dormitory Rental: $3,450 per year
Dining Club Membership: $1,300 per year

2008-2009 Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Tuition $31,594 per year
University Registration Fee $350 per year
Activity Fee $150 per year
Residence Hall Fee $7,130 per year
Meal Plan $2,750 per year

Economics (and common sense) dictates that people should pay a higher price for a better product. In the last 10 years YU has more than doubled in price. Has YU doubled in product?


Ezra said...

Unfortunately, as demonstrated in your post, common sense is not that common anymore. Even the most novice economics student knows that it is not a product's actual value that determines its market value rather it is a matter supply and demand. Hence a doubling in price need not in any way correlate with a doubling in product value.

In the case of YU's tuition however, I don't believe that the demand has caused this tuition hike, rather it is the general rise in costs such as energy, construction, and salary, and general inflation that has lead to this price boost (similar to the increase in tuition seen in Jewish day and high schools across the country). So for once, lets give YU the break it deserves.

Julian Horowitz said...

The factors you point to - "energy, construction, and salary, and general inflation" - would seem likely to cause similar price hikes in all sectors, but we know that this isn't true. The Consumer Price Index is only up about 25% over the last ten years and, after all, you can still get a can of Coke for a dollar. Also, how do you explain the doubling of room and board?

While dayschool tuition is rising at an alarming rate, have any schools gone up 200%? Add to this the facts that 1. YU is receiving record-high donations 2. Progressive colleges (like Harvard) have begun to make their tuition policies much more accomodating, and I think its a bit irresponsible for YU to continue to jack up tuition two grand plus every year.

Anonymous said...

I'm more in agreement with Ezra on this one: economics dictates that with a normal rate of inflation, your money will double in about 7-8 years. Why wouldn't tuition keep up?

And in case you haven't noticed, Coke (the 1.5 and 2 liter variety) is more expensive, and I remember being able to get a can of Pepsi for 50 cents when I was in high school, about 7 years ago.

Stubborn and Strong said...

From Stern student:

Meal Plan is 2,600 dollars a year because i remember both semester my caf card told me i have 1,300 per semester. Is it possible I am wrong?

Also in matthattan, if you don't want to dorm in, but want be near school, it is very cheap to dorm in. So it makes sense to have room and board in that price.

YU are trying to expand the school to keep up with expanding students enroll and update the techolnogy, remember this is private college means no help from government or very little. So they are really depend on students' tution and donation. Do your math, money is crazy this year, YU are responding to that, can't blame that.

Stubborn and Strong said...

and dollor is more weak than 10 years ago

tani said...

true, economics my dictate that YU has the right to set its tuition at its current amount, yet the point i feel that julian is making here (and one which the other comments are not picking up on) is that YU -as much as we would like to believe -is improving and innovating etc etc - in truth is doing very little to effect the academic experiance of the average student, and as such the average student whos finacial support fuels whatever wonderful projects and acomplishments which the greater university does/acheives, feels underappreciated as well as- to a certain degree- cheated out of his/her money
ps- giving out free bags (and all free stuff) doesnt make up for the lack of basic like wireless

shlomo said...

2008-2009 Hebrew University in Jerusalem Fees
Tuition: $3528 per year
"Security fee": $126 per year
Dormitories: $1920-$3600 depending on the room

Seriously, come to Israel!

Josh said...

YU has at least a billion dollars in endowments and the endowments continue to grow.It is outrageous to charge sush fees.
At the same time Ivy League schools
are giving free tuition if you earn less than about 75,000 per year.

Ibn Avraham said...

1. Compared to other universities, 40,000 is not even close to outrageous. In fact, we get an even better deal: that money has to pay for not one, but two curricula! How much would the Ivy's charge if - in some strange twist of fate (or smart YCT campaigning) - they had a morning Torah track!

2. There's a question of goals here. Should YU serve the community by providing cheap tuition or an improving, top tier college? I prefer the latter - and that costs moola.

3. There's also a question of why they need the money. If the tuition hike goes to improving faculty, upgrading the campus, recreating YU in Pres. Joel's image, then kol hakavod! If it is just a sign of the inefficiency and mismanagement of YU, then we have a problem. I think, however, that we're dealing with the former.