By: Chrissy Clark featuring IWF Staff Inez Stepman

Colleges are hiking the price of tuition and living fees despite a decrease in classroom learning and student services.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), New York University, the University of Southern California (USC), and Indiana University are among several universities raising tuition and other fees in the upcoming academic year. These institutions will raise the cost of tuition and living expenses by an average of $1,511 while minimizing services, amenities, and in-person classroom learning.

Tuition hikes come as universities struggle to adapt to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced schools to send students home from campus and adopt alternative teaching methods. Colleges fear tuition revenue will decrease as they transition to online programming, but students are more concerned that they are paying exorbitant rates with little return.

Tuition has been rising for decades, based in part on the higher earnings and job prospects that graduates enjoy. Higher education’s primacy in the job market, however, is facing challenges not just from the pandemic, but also from the White House. In June, President Trump issued an executive order to replace college degree-based hiring with skills-based hiring within the federal government. Such an approach could jeopardize a major recruiting tool for America’s colleges.

Inez Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, told the Free Beacon the crash of traditional universities may be exactly what the country needs.

“The university sector, which has long been growing on the tax investment of mechanics, janitors, and the majority of Americans without a four-year degree, may see contractions for the first time in decades,” Stepman said. “Since universities have mostly abandoned their mission to shape thoughtful, informed citizens and have degenerated into activism training camps for the far left, this overdue contraction could have positive effects for the country.”