And yet it still has the chutzpah to charge astronomically high tuition

For a university to charge tuition isn’t unreasonable.  However, I do have a problem with a university charging over $31,000 per year in tuition, per student (and that doesn’t include room and board), while at the same time boasting an endowment of $34.9 billion (not a typo).  Seems a bit greedy to me, and you know what an arch capitalist I am.  I just wonder what the hell they’re doing with all those billions of dollars.  That is, I’d feel that tuition was more appropriate if I learned that this money was being spent, first and foremost, to focus on the college’s educational mission.  If I were to learn otherwise, and if I were a prospective Harvard parent, I might think twice about donating ever more money to this institution.

2 Responses

  1. I cannot say for certain if this applies to Harvard University, but I do know that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also charges a fairly high amount. This is offset by several things.

    * Insanely generous need-based financial aid.
    * Fantastic opportunties for research and work experience as an undergraduate.
    * Helpful, plentiful, and current resources for the students to use – from places that loan out laptops, to state-of-the-art equipment, to libraries that specialize in narrow subjects (in addition to all-purpose libraries, which are also excellent).
    * A great deal of support for students and for student clubs and events.
    * Numerous charities.

    I would imagine that Harvard does similarly humanitarian things with its resources. I’m not going to exalt that campus, of course, but there are probably numerous Harvard-based programs that do a lot of good but that don’t get much media attention. (If I recall correctly, QuestScholar is now at Harvard and Stanford, as an example. That program benefits low-income students by essentially giving them a free ride to “prestigious” colleges.)

  2. I just wonder what the hell they’re doing with all those billions of dollars.

    What else, they’re swimming in it.

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