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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ending the Tuition Extortion Racket: Make Colleges Replace Student Loans with Scholarships and Pay Back All Outstanding Loans is a nonfiction education finance expose written by Paul Streitz. Using his own alma mater, Hamilton College, and 24 other private colleges for reference, Streitz opens up his work with a look at tuition rates in 1961 compared with today. At Hamilton alone, compared to the inflation rate, tuition rates have shot up over five times what might be expected. And, he argues, what would be typically covered by about 20% of an American family’s income in 1961 will now take up that entire year’s salary. What has happened to college finances and personnel structures to account for this change? Streitz offers data showing the current salaries of college and university presidents and other administrators, and he shows how those schools’ student student tuition fees could easily be wiped out by scaling back those salaries and the bonuses administrators currently receive. He takes issue with the big business mentality which is taking education out of the reach of middle-income families while masquerading and reaping the benefits of their status as not-for-profit institutions. Steitz provides an action plan for parents to address those inevitable tuition increases and get more involved in the college finance process.
Ending the Tuition Extortion Racket is a stunning read. I appreciated the data Streitz provides throughout his work and the excellent commentary that accompanies it. Like him, the thought that students should have to pay upwards of $50,000 tuition each year so college presidents and top administrators can have million-dollar salaries is offensive and must be addressed. And while some in the political world have gained attention with vague promises of free tuition for all, Streitz actually provides a mechanism whereby this goal could be made a reality. Anyone considering higher education, or with children about to go to college, should read this thought-provoking and useful book. Ending the Tuition Extortion Racket: Make Colleges Replace Student Loans with Scholarships and Pay Back All Outstanding Loans is most highly recommended.