Increased College Costs Do NOT Lead to Better College Education

Source: Inside Higher Ed, Jan 2013

Research presented here by researchers from Wabash College — and based on national data sets — finds that there may be a minimal relationship between what colleges spend on education and the quality of the education students receive. Further, the research suggests that colleges that spend a fraction of what others do, and operate with much higher student-faculty ratios and greater use of part-time faculty members, may be succeeding educationally as well as their better-financed (and more prestigious) counterparts.
The result was that there was only a very small relationship between spending on education and the quality of the educational experience. 

… a scatterplot Blaich shared showing the colleges on axes of educational spending per student and points on the scale of good teaching. Blaich isolated 10 colleges (he said later that most but not all were liberal arts colleges) that had very similar scores on the good practices related to teaching.

Their spending per student, however, ranged from $9,225 to $53,521 (with corresponding tuition rates). Others at the high end of per-student spending were at $44,429 and $34,172. Three other colleges, however, were achieving the same educational impact with spending per student of about $15,000. And yet all of these colleges were showing similar levels of good practice with regard to education.


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