Rising Costs and Lack of Opportunity Take Their Toll on the University and State
The Federal government isn’t the only one releasing budgets that will apparently harm the American worker, as the University of Nebraska is proposing cuts and a tuition hike in its latest proposal.
More than 100 jobs will be shed by the university, according to the latest budget proposal. The salary gap between the University of Nebraska and peer institutions will also continue to grow, according to NU President Hank Bounds. (Source: “Tuition increases, job cuts proposed under NU budget,” NTV News, May 30, 2017.)
The planned tuition hike will also represent a significant increase for students attending the university, with a 5.4% raise next year and a 3.2% raise the year after.
When he announced the plan, Bounds said that the cut in collective bargaining and a rise in health insurance cost were two main contributors to the budget deficit.
The budget still needs to pass a vote from the Board of Regents in order to be enacted.
Still, this represents a cross-section of two important issues facing America today. One is the continuously rising tuition costs that, in the past few years, have gotten out of control.
One report released last year by the advocacy group Young Invincibles demonstrated that the share of tuition and college fees paid by a student’s family jumped from 36% in 2008 to 50% in 2014. At the same time, states have cut per-student spending by 21% on average, with some states going as high as instituting 41% spending cuts and hiking up tuition. (Source: “Tuition is increasing at alarming rates at US public universities,” Quartz, January 8, 2016.)
The worst states as scored by the report had tuition hikes over 50% and as high as 72% in Arizona over the period of 2008-2014.
With tuition prices rising at such a rapid and uncontained rate, many are concerned as to how students will be able to afford the price hikes without being saddled with unmanageable debt.
And in Nebraska, we’re seeing tuition hikes come up against an equally grim development: Loss of American jobs.
With such high amounts of debt and many jobs across the country being cut, today’s students are put in an unenviable position of being forced to pay exorbitant fees while being faced with poor job prospects when they do eventually graduate.
The combination of these two toxic factors is a large part of what is driving the slowdown in homeownership for younger people, along with delayed departures from their parents’ homes.