If you are a college student, you might have noticed a recent change in your parents’ willingness to give you money for books, drugs and booze. The reason for that is the ever-increasing cost of tuition. The average tuition of American universities is steadily rising, with Georgetown having implemented several tuition increases in recent years, including the six percent increase for 2007-2008. Though the increased cost is kept in check by the market, (i.e. the tuition increases of universities similar to Georgetown in terms of prestige and endowment size), and this ensures that the price will increase slowly, it does nothing to mitigate the raw cost of attending such a university. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is talking about introducing a bill to mandate university endowment spending for the purposes of partially subsidizing tuition costs is pushing for a different look at the tuition question. Sen. Grassley is a senior senator who is also a Baptist, Freemason and a distinguished whistleblower, having received a lifetime achievement award from the National Whistleblower Center for his work in improving accountability of governmental and corporate institutions. His latest work is directed to university endowment spending, which, according to Jill Gerber, a spokesman for the Senate Committee on Finance, said that Grassley is proposing that universities with endowments above a certain threshold would be required to disperse five percent of the average value of their market assets, much like a private foundation would. The proposed threshold would be an endowment of $500 million, and, if the ideas proposed by Sen. Grassley are taken up in legislation, would decrease the costs of Georgetown’s tuition, but it might also undermine the other projects Georgetown might take up, such as building a new library or expanding the math and science departments. Georgetown is a tuition-financed institution with a growing but rather modest endowment of $1 billion compared to other top-tier schools such as Harvard or Yale. Of course, these aforementioned institutions have already implemented greater endowment spending to offset tuition costs. The Editorial Board believes that the students who attend Georgetown are the most important components of the university – after all, this sentiment is resounded in the “We Are Georgetown” cheer at most sporting events. The endowment’s primary purpose is to support this institution financially, and we would want to see more of the funds go to offset the tuition costs for the students. Still, legislating increased dispersment could potentially harm Georgetown. The endowment is only beginning to grow, and this board would like to see this proud institution support its students without the Senate Committee on Finance getting involved. If legislation concerning endowment funds dispersment does come to pass, we hope that it is enacted with all the subtlety and sensitivity that the Senate is capable of, as naive as that hope may be.

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