College Tuition Inflation

“Dear Parents” started the letter that arrived today from Eighteen’s college president. “To assist you in your planning, I am writing to provide you with information about fees for the coming year.”

Thanks.

A few short paragraphs in the prez pats himself on the back. “The comprehensive fee increase for the coming year (3.97%) is the second-lowest in a decade.” That makes me feel a lot better, except inflation, in 2010 in the U.S., was 2.3%. Why not just write, “We’ve hosed families worse than this in eight of the previous ten years.”

“In the months ahead,” he added, “we will continue to explore routes to reduce operational expenses while preserving the academic excellence for which Exorbitantly Priced College is justly known.” A promising sentence that deserves another like this, “I will write again during the summer to update you on the outcome of those discussions and exactly how we are going to reduce operational expenses while preserving academic excellence.”

Continue to explore. Classic higher ed speak.

One wonders, when it comes to comprehensive fees at private liberal arts colleges, is there a tipping point?