How To Make College More Affordable For All

            College is expensive. Very few can counteract the simple fact that it is expensive. Now, why it’s expensive is a completely different story, and that answer is longer, far longer, than anyone’s patience level.

            The Center for College Affordability and Productivity has been continuously releasing facts and other pieces of information about how the higher education system can reform, according to an article in the Washington Post.           

1. Encourage More Students to Attend Community College: Because two-year colleges are less expensive than four-year colleges.

2. Promote Dual Enrollment Programs: Advanced Placement or other programs that give high school students college credit can save money off college.

3. Reform Academic Employment Policies: Tenure is incredibly expensive. Rethinking it could save money.

4. Offer Three-Year Bachelor's Degrees: Cut some of the unnecessary general requirements and involve students earlier in their majors.

5. Outsource More Services: Room and board, rec centers and maintenance are all expensive to colleges. Outsourcing these services could save money.

6. Reduce Administrative Staff: Administrative costs are rising sharply.

7. Cut Unnecessary Programs: Nearly all academic programs run at a loss; colleges should review all programs, eliminating some.

8. End the "Athletics Arms Race": These programs are expensive, constantly costing colleges. Also, they require subsidization.

9. Overhaul the FAFSA: Some administrators believe the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is needlessly complex and costly to administer.

10. Eliminate Excessive Academic Research: If faculty spent more time teaching instead of researching, colleges would be more efficient and cheaper.

11. Streamline Redundant Programs at the State Level: Redundancy is always unnecessary and expensive.

12. Promote collaborative purchasing: Schools could save money by purchasing cooperatives.

13. Improve Facility Utilization: Many colleges build large, expensive buildings to impress prospective students; however, this only costs them in the long run. Also, colleges often use teaching spaces no more than 30 or 40 hours a week.

14. Increase Teaching Loads: The time faculty members actually spend teaching is continuously decreasing.

15. Encourage Timely Degree Completion: Students who take longer to complete college, stretching a four-year degree into a five plus years of completion costs both colleges and students.

16. Move More Classes Online: Online instruction is cheaper because colleges do not need to build classrooms or facilities.

17. Reduce the Cost of Textbooks: Any bookstore within walking distance of a college is insanely overpriced. Renting or buying textbooks online can save money.

18. Digitize Academic Libraries: This could lower the rising costs of operating a library with administrative staff.

19. Outsource E-mail Services: College-operated e-mail networks are growing increasingly more expensive to maintain.

20. Utilize Course Management Tools: Online course management can reduce costs through efficiency.

21. Ease the Transfer Process among Public Institutions: Transferring students requires lots of administrative time and complications with duplicating credits, making it costly.

22. Reform Financial Aid: It’s different for every school, making it incredibly complex and costly.

23. Reform Accreditation to Reduce Barriers to Entry: Again, this requires a lot of costly administrative assistance and creates confusion.

24. Subsidize Students, not Schools: Subsidies from schools could go directly to students.

25. Promote Competition Based on Value, Not Reputation. The academic rankings system is based mainly on reputation and factors other than the true value of an education.