College Spending Watch

Recession driven cost cutting across American colleges leaves many very concerned with how colleges spend the money they actually have.

Some policymakers, particularly Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) are particularly focused on this one issue. There are rumors that colleges spend too much on entertainment or sports, even while they try to cut spending in other crucial areas.

But it’s difficult to figure out where colleges spend money, at least until now. According to a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Understanding how colleges spend money just got a lot easier, thanks to a new Web-based database from the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability.

The Web tool builds on data from the Department of Education to track the spending and revenue sources of 2,300 public and private colleges. It features six major metrics, including the average educational cost per student and college spending per degree.

Now the Delta Project college spending website is not exactly easy to use. This is unsurprising; it’s a complicated subject and one that colleges and universities have a understandable interest in obscuring. The Chronicle article features a reasonably clear video, however, to walk the user through the Delta Project program.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer