Colleges Build Palaces and Pass the Cost on to Students

Barry Lenson

Colleges Pass the Cost on to Students  “Some call it the Edifice Complex,” writes Andrew Martin in an article in The New York Times. “Others have named it the Law of More, or the Taj Mahal syndrome.”

Martin isn’t writing about what maharajahs or emperors or kings are doing in foreign countries. He’s writing American colleges and universities that love to build immense new buildings and pass the cost on to their students. In his article, “Building a Showcase Campus, Using an I.O.U.,” he mentions that . . .

  • Over the last decade, many American institutions have borrowed heavily so they could build the kind of lavish buildings that attract new students. Many are passing the cost on to students or to the taxpayers in the states where they are located.
  • Between the years 2000 and 2011, at least 500 American colleges doubled the amount of money that they owe.
  • Schools are investing in useless things. Martin writes about student unions that have movie theaters and wine bars; climbing walls; “lazy rivers” where students can bob around; and dorms with single rooms and private baths.

So, is it any surprise that college costs and student debt are increasing so quickly? When you stop to think about the cost of college courses at StraighterLine where you can start out with a simple educational option that costs only $99 per month, you really start to wonder. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a lazy river or a climbing wall?

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