The Department of Education recently released its updated College Affordability and Transparency lists. Publication of the lists is mandated by the Higher Education Act, and is part of the federal government’s attempts at helping students and families better compare costs of different higher education providers.
A secondary purpose of the lists is to, in effect, praise (and promote) schools with low costs and low rates of inflation and shame schools with high costs and high inflation rates. Not only are the names of these schools publicized widely, but schools with the highest costs and inflation must submit a report to the Secretary of Education detailing the reasons for the increases and any cost-containment measures they plan to take. But in looking at the public schools on the lists, it is clear that the real shame should be directed at statehouses across the country.