Wednesday, November 24, 2010

25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College: Part 3

With the generous support of Lumina Foundation, CCAP is releasing today the third part of the five-part study 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College, a detailed analysis of different ways that college administrators and public policy leaders can cut college costs, with the goal of making colleges both more productive in their use of resources and also more affordable to students. The third part, which includes chapter 13-15, is titled "Efficiently Use Resources" and covers the following three topics:
13. Improve Facility Utilization: University facilities are vastly underutilized, remaining largely unoccupied during non-peak times. Institutions could create an internal market among the school’s various departments and charge rent for classroom and office facilities in a manner that would increase off-peak usage.

14. Increase Teaching Loads: Between 1988 and 2004, it is estimated that teaching loads fell 42 percent at research universities and 32 percent at liberal arts colleges. The root cause of the fall in teaching loads relates to incentives that primarily encourage research. Explicitly rewarding teaching financially and making teaching a more prominent component of faculty performance reviews would help shift the focus from research to teaching and allow fewer professors to teach more students.

15. Encourage Timely Degree Completion: The drop-out rate of college students is a national scandal. Huge amounts of resources are devoted to giving incomplete educations to students, who often incur large debts without gaining the skills necessary to obtain a well-paying job. Timely degree completion could be incentivized by rewarding students financially who graduate in four years, or alternatively by denying subsidy payments for any student with more than a certain percentage of the credit hours needed for graduation.
Each of these chapters is available for free download from our website (in pdf). The fourth part of 25 Ways is scheduled for release next Wednesday, December 1.

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