U.S. college spending rising

July 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- The rate of spending for non-instructional purposes at U.S. colleges and universities is rising, a study of college costs indicates.

The Delta Cost Project, a non-profit group that advocates cost controls to keep college affordable, studied trends in revenues and spending from 1998 through 2008 by all types of U.S. higher education institutions, including tony private schools, public universities and community colleges, The New York Times reported Friday.

The United States enjoys the reputation of having the world's wealthiest post-secondary education system, spending an average of about $19,000 per student compared with an average of $8,400 in other developed countries, said the report, "Trends in College Spending 1998-2008."

The trend toward increased spending on non-academic areas crossed the higher education spectrum, the report indicated, with public, private and community colleges increasing expenditures more for student services than for instruction. Student services can include spending on career counseling, financial aid offices, intramural athletics and student centers.

Spending on instruction increased 22 percent over the decade at private research universities, while student services spending saw about a 36 percent rise, the study said.

At public research universities, spending for student services rose 20 percent over the decade, compared with 10 percent for instruction.

In community colleges, spending on students services increased 9.5 percent, compared with 3.4 percent for instruction.

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