Monday, January 22, 2007

It's net price, Princeton 

Princeton has made a splash by freezing tuition, but the rise in room and board rates is four times higher than last year, so that the net increase is almost the same as last year. Bryan O'Keefe writes,
The University denies that these new room and board fees are linked to the tuition plan, but one can only wonder if they are being 100 percent honest here. They claim that the university heavily subsidizes student housing (which may or may not be true) � but why cut that subsidy in the same year that you are freezing tuition? Purely a coincidence?
What does it mean to say you are "subsidizing student housing"? What are the opportunity costs of putting a student into a dorm room if the dorm is already built? Am I to believe that the cost of feeding a Princetonian is being subsidized with below-market meal plan prices and, assuming they all eat cafeteria food, what really is that meal's opportunity cost?