Lehigh University
Lehigh University

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Buying the Professor a BMW

“I hope you are enjoying the car that I bought for you," a parent said to a professor during a conversation in which the parent bemoaned a steep increase in the cost of sending his youngest child to college, versus that of her eldest sibling.

Are parents really paying more for higher education, and, if so, is the added money going into faculty members’ pockets? Lehigh University education and law professor Perry Zirkel and Lehigh librarian for education Jean Johnson looked at the data.

They concluded: "In general, the parental costs of college are spiraling upward, but the increases are largely not going into the pocket of the full-time faculty member. We drive a Honda Accord and  a VW Jetta, respectively, and most of my colleagues drive similar cars.

"The BMWs, the Lexuses, the Infinitis, and the sports cars belong to the students, at least those whose high-end parents most typically bemoan the costs of sending their students to us," they said.

View their full opinion at Inside Higher Ed.

Story by Jennifer Tucker

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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