The Rising Costs of Higher Education

A Reference Handbook

by John R. Thelin

Print Flyer

March 2013


Pages 364
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Education

Providing a clear, logical guide to an illogical topic, this book provides an easy-to-understand guide for anyone who wants to successfully navigate the labyrinth of going to college—and paying for the experience.

100 years ago, college tuition at prestigious Ivy League colleges such as Harvard and Brown was about $130 per year. Even when adjusted for inflation, today's cost of higher education has increased dramatically—to the point where a college education is shifting further out of reach for many Americans. This book explains the essential concepts in the debate regarding the staggering costs of higher education, supplying ten original essays by higher education policy experts, a lively historical narrative that provides context to current issues, and systematic guides to finding additional sources of information on the subject.

Written from a historian's point of view, The Rising Costs of Higher Education: A Reference Handbook explains the economics of higher education in a manner that encourages readers to participate in the discussion on how to control ever-increasing tuition costs. Both college-bound students and parents will come to appreciate how complicated the problem of paying for college is, and grasp the crucial differences between "cost" and "price" in the specific economics of colleges and universities.


  • Provides prospective college students and their families with the information needed to clearly understand the complexities of the costs of attending college
  • Includes original essays on the costs of higher education contributed by ten outstanding policy experts in the field
  • Supplies important historical context on the contemporary issue of the cost of education
Author Info

John R. Thelin, PhD, is professor of higher education and public policy at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. He is an alumnus of Brown University where he concentrated in history and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He received his master's degree in history and doctorate in history of education from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been chancellor professor at the College of William & Mary, professor at Indiana University, and the research director for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. In 2001 he was president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and received their outstanding research award in 2011. Thelin's published works include A History of American Higher Education.

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