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Why Does College Cost So Much?$
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Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744503.001.0001

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Cost and Quality in Higher Education

Cost and Quality in Higher Education

(p.63) 5 Cost and Quality in Higher Education
Why Does College Cost So Much?

Robert B. Archibald

David H. Feldman

Oxford University Press

The previous chapter explained why technological innovation increases the demand for highly skilled workers in the economy. These same changes affect higher education. Higher education is much more high-tech and equipment intensive than it used to be. But the adoption of new technologies has not reduced college costs as it has in many other industries. This chapter explains why colleges and universities react to technological advancement by changing what they do instead of by reducing the cost of producing the same service. Colleges and universities must meet a “standard of care” driven largely by the labor market their students will face. In order to meet the expected standard of care, colleges and universities have to provide an up-to-date education that fully utilizes new technology, even if that raises cost.

Keywords:   college costs, quality, standard of care, technology

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