Inflation is coming to colleges: Prepare to pay more

Like chief financial officers at universities and colleges everywhere in the United States, David Jewell is having a stressful winter. The senior vice president for business affairs and finance at Cleveland State University, Jewell is trying to constrain any tuition increase for next year at the same time that inflation is pushing up costs and staff shortages are forcing wages and benefits higher, writes Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report.

It’s a squeeze that comes at the worst possible time for higher education, as enrolment has declined by nearly a million students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last thing it needs is to increase its own prices.

“Families and their earnings haven’t fully recovered yet, especially as the student population we’re more focused on today tends to be first-generation, lower socio-economic status, more diverse,” Jewell said. On the other side of the ledger, “we’ve never dealt with this level of inflationary pressure and this kind of extremely competitive labour market.” As a result, according to experts and early evidence, the next consumer product likely to cost Americans more will be a college education.
Full report on The Hechinger Report site