Recession's other victim – Public universities

For generations, most college-bound Americans paid reasonable fees to attend publicly financed state universities. But the bedrock of that system is fracturing as cash-strapped states slash funding to these institutions just as attendance has soared. Places like Ohio State, Penn State and the University of Michigan now receive less than 7% of their budgets from state appropriations, writes Jilian Mincer for Reuters.

As a result, public universities – which historically have graduated the majority of US college students – are eliminating programmes, raising tuition fees and accepting more out-of-state students, who typically pay significantly higher rates. The upshot of it all? Students face greater competition for admission, significantly higher tuition bills and bigger debt loads upon graduation.

The state cutbacks also mean students are attending larger classes, frequently taught by part-time professors earning dismal salaries. In 2009, less than a quarter of all university faculty were full-time compared with 45% in 1975, according to the American Association of University Professors.
Full report on the Chicago Tribune site