In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, President David Skorton said the nationwide rise in college tuition has become “astronomical” and that schools must take action to control costs.
“It’s rising much too quickly and it’s gotten much too high just in the period of time that I’ve been in higher education — in three and a half decades — it’s gotten astronomical. It’s way out in the stratosphere,” Skorton told Tom Keene and Scarlet Fu ’94 on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.”
Noting that the rise in tuition has dramatically outpaced the rise in inflation, Fu said that “the rise in college tuition is almost like a military arms race. One university raises tuition; another one follows up.”
Skorton emphasized that state governments must support public universities, many of which have faced drastic funding cuts in the wake of the financial crisis. He noted that the current unemployment rate is about half for college graduates what it is for those without a college degree.
Skorton also advocated for attracting more international students to American universities, pointing out that almost 50 percent of graduate students at Cornell this year hail from overseas. Additionally, Skorton was one of more than 150 university presidents to recently sign a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress asking them to expand access to green cards for international students with advanced degrees in technical fields, according to a University press release.