College spending per student is jumping across practically every category, but some have eye-popping changes.
New research by Peter Hinrichs, a senior research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, shows that private colleges in particular are shelling out way more than they did during the final years of the Reagan administration.
Some “real spending” increases for private colleges between 1987 and 2013:
Student services: 108 percent
Academic support: 80 percent
Research: 71 percent
Institutional support: 48 percent
The one decline? “Public service,” where spending per student fell 9 percent.
Public colleges have lower increases, also across the board (except for operations and plant maintenance, where spending has fallen):
Student services: 54 percent
Academic support: 42 percent
Research: 62 percent
Institutional support: 37 percent
According to Hinrichs, these findings show that the explanation for increasing college costs
must be a broad-based one that can explain spending increases in a variety of categories. For example, different categories of spending could have their own constituencies who successfully advocate for higher spending in their preferred category…
h/t Inside Higher Ed