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Big University

Law school is a special case, but overall higher education tuition has jumped dramatically in recent years. Amid caterwauling from bleeding hearts about how important education is to our country and how unfair it is that it is so expensive, this article examines the relative unaccountability that university administrators enjoy and the enormous size of many of their endowments.

The University of Texas’ endowment is $13 billion; 4th largest of any university (public or private) in the nation. It also towers above the largest non-profit institutions of any kind in the U.S. As an example, if UT spent HALF the amount by which the endowment grew last year, all 147,576 undergraduates could have attended school tuition-free for the year. That’s not a policy recommendation, just an illustration of the dollars involved.

It should also be a consideration amid political discussions about increased federal funding for student loans. People who attend universities (a.k.a. me) are obvious beneficiaries of more federal money, but so are the universities themselves. Higher tuition  result in higher debt about leaving school, and even if that money is easier to get and at a lower interest rate, it still has to be repaid. Instead, why shouldn’t public universities be subject to similar scrutiny that is applied to public corporations?


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