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Colleges at the Crossroads

Taking Sides on Contested Issues


Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Focusing on crucial issues in higher education, this book challenges readers to go beyond taken-for-granted assumptions about America’s colleges and universities and instead critically examine important questions facing them in today’s troubled world. Each chapter presents divergent perspectives, that is, "pro" and "con" views, in the hope of stimulating reasoned dialogue among students, faculty, administrators, and the public at large. Readers will explore how internal factors in the academic community often interact with external social, economic, and political influences to produce conflictual results. They will see that academe is hardly value-neutral and inevitably political. This book urges them to transcend strident political persuasion and instead engage in the careful analysis needed to make colleges better.

The text provides in-depth appraisal of key topics of controversy: the purposes of higher education, liberal education, academic freedom, political correctness, tenure, shared governance, faculty workload, admissions tests, student learning, Greek life, the worth of college, equity and social justice, athletics, student entitlement, technology and distance instruction, and college amenities. The book will appeal to students, faculty, staff, and all those interested in the future of higher education. It is especially useful for courses in contemporary issues in higher education, foundations of higher education, higher education and society, college student development, and the organization and administration of higher education.

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26. The Need for College Amenities and Their Benefit to the Student and Institution’s Success (Steven Tolman / Christopher Trautman)


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26.  The Need for College Amenities and Their Benefit to the Student and Institution’s Success


With the ever-increasing cost of higher education, students, families, and taxpayers have begun to scrutinize the factors and expenses that are driving the skyrocketing cost of tuition. Adjusting for inflation, the average cost to attend a university (tuition, room/board, and fees) in 2014 was more than double than it was in 1984 (NCES, 2016). And unfortunately, this is a trend that is unlikely to change. It is projected that college tuition will continue to rise at a rate of 5% each year (Badkar, 2014). While the cost of a four-year degree is currently approximately $77,000, the same degree 18 years from now is projected to cost a staggering $185,000. To put this into perspective, both the median home price in the Midwestern United States (NAR, 2016) and cost of a Ferrari sports car are approximately $175,000. To this end, students and their families are justifiably questioning the cost of higher education.

While the cause of rising tuition is outside the scope of this chapter and likely the book as a whole, it is worth mentioning that many believe the impetus for this increasing cost of higher education to be reduced state funding (Barnshaw & Dunietz, 2015; Mitchell & Leachman, 2015). While this change in appropriations funding higher education may result in lower taxes (or more...

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