COLLEGES + UNIVERSITIES

Does higher education have a spending problem?

Jul 3, 2023, 12:49 PM | Updated: 1:32 pm

students walking new weber state administration building, higher education spending is in question...

(Weber State University)

(Weber State University)

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday voted to strike down President Joe Biden’s Loan Forgiveness Program. The decision came as student debt is at an all-time high. Does higher education have a spending problem?

Student debt now stands at a record-breaking $1.78 trillion; each borrower owes an average student debt of $37,172.

“It’s a balance, “Jessica Oyler, vice president of Student Access and Success at Weber State University, told KSL at Night.

Rise in costs and competition

According to Oyler, there are things out of control for universities that force them to increase costs.

“Looking at construction costs is a prime example of this. Construction costs 20 years ago versus construction costs today or construction costs five years ago were different than what they are today.”

Universities have been experiencing a decline in enrollment in the past few years, which also means they are spending more money on recruitment efforts.

“Universities are spending more because they’re trying to put in more to recruit students,” Oyler said.

Although Utah is an outlier, according to Oyler, another problem some states have come from the legislators. “Nationally, certainly the appropriations by the state have decreased, so tuition costs are rising to make up that gap. Lots of private donors are helping to make up that gap as well.”

Amenities race

Many universities are also adding many amenities to offer students, contributing to the spending problems. Louisiana State University added a lazy river in 2017 to help students relax.

Although the addition of something like a lazy river does not add academic value for the students, Oyler said, it does help bring a sense of belonging for students. But those amenities do bring a lot of cost to students.

Oyler ends the segment discussing how universities are shifting focus now on return on investment for students, with Weber State being the only Utah institution in the top five for return on investment at 10 years and 40 years.

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Colleges + Universities

The Utah Prison Education Project has officially accepted 15 students. They now can pursue their ag...

Emma Keddington

Utah Prison Education Project accepts first class of students

The Utah Prison Education Project has admitted 15 students in the project's first effort to help inmates earn their degree.

3 days ago

Chris Jay and and "Army of Freshmen" from Ventura, California play Kilby Court Sunday June 15, 2003...

Josuee Sanchez

Heavy metal isn’t as damaging to the voice as you may think

Heavy Metal singers might sound like they're screaming, but it's not damaging their voices the way a normal scream might.

4 days ago

Benefits of higher education...

Heather Peterson

Data shows benefits of getting a higher education

A new study confirms that perusing higher education has multiple benefits including economic and positive societal impacts.

7 days ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

11 days ago

Rare earth minerals...

Don Brinkerhoff

U. researchers ask: Is it worth mining rare-earth minerals in eastern Utah and western Colorado?

University of Utah researchers are asking for grant money to see if there are enough rare-earth minerals in Utah and Colorado worth extracting.

13 days ago

Students at Weber State University work to xeriscape areas on campus. This is part of a goal to red...

Heather Peterson

Weber State University conserving water through xeriscaping

Weber State is making changes to conserve water, by implementing a "water action plan." They want to reduce water use by 30%.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Does higher education have a spending problem?