The average tuition for the top 10 colleges has increased around 25% the last six years, starting with the 2004-2005 school year through the 2009-2010 school year.
Also, these tuition costs do not include room and board, meal plans, books, other mandatory fees, etc. These are simply base tuition numbers, and tuition can increase or decrease depending on the major within a university. This can vary dramatically from university-to-university.
One of the biggest reasons listed is that states have stopped or reduced spending on public universities, thus tuition has increased. Most state governments control the tuition levels. Also, private colleges can receive some state funding and can be affected be lack of funding.
Professors at elite colleges are experts and competition in the profession has continually increased. Furthermore, these elite colleges are in intense competition with one another to hire the best professors. Competition naturally increases a professor’s salary, which increases the university’s tuition. Also, lately elite colleges have been attracting expert professor overseas. Essentially, some professors could be considered priceless to some colleges; however, it will be the student funding it, according to an article in the U.S. News and World Report.
The article also reported that new technology can become very expensive for universities, especially the elite ones that are willing to fund the best technological resources. Universities want to provide students with the most up-to-date equipment in libraries, labs and throughout the college. This technology can be extremely expensive; however, these colleges believe that it is vital to meet the demands of current and future students.
Government regulation has increased across both federal and state levels. Colleges have been affected by this because they have to hire people to operate these regulations because a lot of colleges are regulated by the federal government. More university employees eventually results in an increase in student tuition, in order to cover staff salaries.
The U.S. News and World Report reported that colleges can be intensely affected by the economy. Colleges are very energy intensive, and as energy costs rise, colleges’ spending increases. This will increase tuition. Also, as the economy drops, a university’s endowments and donations will sharply decrease. Elite colleges depend on large donations, and without them, students will be picking up the fiscal slack.
Essentially, colleges compete with one another to have the best facilities, technology, equipment and professors. The top 10 colleges are in extreme competition with others to be the best, and these colleges are willing to pay whatever that may cost. Also, a lot of these elite colleges believe that a prospective student will not pass up the opportunity to attend an elite university.
Recently interest for top colleges has soared as colleges have been receiving record numbers of applications. This could be another factor for increasing tuition because more prospective students are willing to pay high tuition.