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High Tuition? Don’t Blame College Professors


The cost of a college education is higher than ever before. Some students will graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt — and that's just for their undergraduate degree. What's the reason for high price of education?

That's what a parent recently asked Vice President Joe Biden during a town hall in Pennsylvania. His response raised some ire in the academic community.

"Salaries for college professors have escalated significantly," Biden said. "They should be good, but they have escalated significantly."

John Curtis, director of research and public policy with the American Association of University Professors, says this isn't the case. The AAUP released a study last week that says that professors' salaries, unlike those of, say, college presidents, have not kept pace with either inflation or the job market as a whole.

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"Full-time faculty salaries have been stagnant," Curtis said. "And an increasing proportion of instruction is being shifted to part-time faculty members who are poorly paid, not provided with benefits, and not provided with the support they need to do the jobs they are capable of."

Instead, he blames decreased state funding and smaller financial aid packages, which have forced students and their families to assume more of the burden of paying tuition.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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