"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

The meaning of the numbers

This Idaho Weekly Briefing this week carries some unsettling numbers: The tuition increases for students at Idaho colleges and universities.

A correspondent, a a usually reliable source who has followed the issue for four decades, did some analysis to show what’s happened in that area over time.

Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI, I estimated that tuition has increased over 200 percent above the CPI inflation rate.

I used the “remembered” figure of $400/year in 1972-73 (I think it was actually about $360); using the CPI, this would have been about $2227 in 2013, instead of $6524. (And out-of-state tuition was then ?perhaps $1000 a year? Now it’s $13,000 for undergraduate.)

I also figured that it now costs over $10 per “class contact hour” (one hour/50 minutes of attendance). That should make cutting/sleeping late/etc. a real financial decision (albeit something I never took into consideration until very late in my student career).

[18 credit-hours per semester X 17 weeks per semester X 2 semesters = 36 credit hours X 17 weeks = 612 contact hours for $6524 tuition = $10.66/class].

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