Point/Counterpoint: “Should I Raise Tuition?”

Yes – Raising Tuition is An Unfortunate Necessity in Today’s Economic Climate

By Morton Owen Schapiro

Every year, I am presented with the question, do we need to raise tuition by another four percent? Every year, the answer is yes.

As someone whose specialty is the economics of higher education, I know that there is simply no alternative to raising tuition. Let me outline just three of the many reasons for you:

1. Financial Aid – In order to pay for the tuition of lower income students, we must raise tuition for everyone else. Because tuition keeps rising, for the university to be able to provide the same level of financial aid, we need to keep raising tuition. It’s a vicious cycle.

2. Free Stuff – All the free things students here get aren’t actually free. We just charge more for your tuition. Free t-shirt? That’s $15 of your tuition money. Free shuttle service? $500. What’s that, you want free printing and u-passes for the El? That’ll be another $1000.

3. My Salary – I do my part for this school, my job is basically fundraising, and that exhausting endeavor deserves a commensurate salary. Look, I only make $212,000 a year from my Board of Directors stint at that insurance company Marsh & McLennan Companies. A couple million more from Northwestern is only fair.

And so, it is clear that from the financial realities of the modern world, for the University to be sustainable, we must continue to raise the sticker price of attending this fine institution.

HELL YES!!! – Have You SEEN the Prices for These Fucking Flowers?!?

By Morty Schapiro

Holy shit these flowers are expensive. Jesus! You don’t want to know how much it costs to keep this place looking presentable! Before I took this job, if you had told me that being University President boiled down to being a glorified botanist at the expense of improved campus facilities and mental health services, I’d have told you to take this job!

Wait, the saying’s “take this job and shove it?” Why would I want to do that? I’d tell you to take this highly-paid, respectable job! The whole thing’s like one of my beloved Economics problems come to life! I get to explore supply, demand, and investigate an intriguing market bubble!

Do you know what a bubble is? It’s when a good is continually sold for an amount that far outweighs its intrinsic value, eventually leading to a complete market collapse! And did you know that if tuition continues to grow along at current rates a single year at Northwestern will cost well over $70,000 by 2030?

Two completely unrelated facts, of course, as anyone who’s spent time with me or our fine University’s Board of Directors already knows that Northwestern’s tuition rates are pegged directly to the Florists’ Transworld Delivery exchange downtown in Downers Grove. You want to complain to someone, go talk to their President! He’s the head honcho! He’s the jackass who decided to price a single goddamned box of tulip bulbs at $40!

And, yes, we may technically have more money that we know what to do with, but that doesn’t stop us from needing more! We need to build a nest egg for our University to rely on during tough times! (Like when outrageous tuition costs lead to dire financial collapse at America’s oldest Universities.) Won’t you be glad that we’re prepared then?

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