John Lackey LLM notes tht he paid $6,000 for his LLM tuition in 1969 while his youngest son is graduating from Washington and Lee University, where the combination of tuition and living expenses is almost $60,000 per year. He poses the not-so-rehetorical question many of us have raised: how do hard-working middle-class parents pay for college education these days?Copy that. I remember that my Yale bill was actually less than than I had paid as a JD student at the University of Louisville. Yale kindly fronted a good bit of the money; I financed part of it with a 1.5 percent loan. Good fortune put me in a position where I had the means to pay that loan just months after leaving Yale, but to my shame, I nurtured that puppy to the last possible day.
To pile on an extra insult, just last night at a University of California alumni dinner I heard some of our old timers remembering the days when their tuition was $150 a semester (currently at the law school, we charge $28,000 a year). And to top it all, I didmy Yale gig with a (n0n-working) wife and two children--packed together in a two-bedroom apartment, where the details of our neighbors' private lives were freely available through the heating ducts. One of the kids did a year in public school; the other was in some kind of Montessori day care which must have been a budget item all its own.
I realize that no amount of prestidigitation can make these days compare with those, but I will round up some usual suspects to put it all in perspective: college these days is a country club. It has become so largely for the reasons medical care is so expensive: we've spent years pumping public money into the demand side with little or no policing of supply. Colleges have found they have to sweeten the package to compete for students and however much we complain, the fact is that up to now, they have found no limit to what the traffic will bear.
I don't think you can ever completely unring that particular bell and even if you did, I don't suppose we would find ourselves quite back in the palmy days of old. But, shorter Buce on education: college expenses are so high because parents/kids (backed by the sovereign) have been willing to pay.