The Secret University Tax

April 10, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

Tuition costs are high and rising. Yet few people pay attention to the cost of university room and board which is often rising even faster writes Jill Barshay:

  • At one university students pay what averages out to $24 a day for food – twice what the average American spends on food every day.
  • The rent comes out to $786 for a shared room – the same as the median monthly rent for an entire house in the US.
  • These costs are rising. Universities have raised prices for room and board at a rate 6-9% a year – after adjusting for inflation
  • The universities have a bit of a monopoly on their customers as they often require that students remain in campus housing and have a campus meal plan.
  • One reason for the increase in price is the increase in quality – students can now get gourmet food at their dining halls.
  • Universities will also go for organic, locally sourced food which is more expensive.
  • Students now expect dining halls to be open late at night during exam times.
  • Many university buildings are old need to be refurbished.
  • Yet after taking all this into account university revenues are higher than their costs for providing food and accommodation.
  • Part of the drive to increase these prices is because such increases receive less scrutiny by prospective students and regulators than normal tuition increases.

Read how one university was able to keep room and board costs unchanged for three years, the most expensive schools for room and board in America, and more over here.

Source: Vox