College should learn to tighten their belts, say reformers. Colleges are spending too much money, on students, on facilities, and on professors. That’s why tuition keeps going up. Giving colleges less money will cause them to change their priorities and operate more efficiently.

Well despite dramatic cuts in state funding, that belt tightening is not really happening. According to an article by James Salzer
 and Laura Diamond in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

While billions have been cut from state government’s budget during the Great Recession, the University System of Georgia has been on a comparative spending spree.

Spending has gone from 
$5.4 billion in 2007 to a projected $7 billion this year, as colleges built expensive buildings, hired high-priced administrators, bought top-of-the-line technology, added football teams and dozens of new academic programs and even bought a golf course.

How is the system financing these expensive projects? It’s mostly the students who pay the bills. According to the article since 2008 University of Georgia administrators increased tuition 50 percent and hiked student fees 87 percent.

Last year, Georgia’s state public colleges said that state budget cuts would force them to lay off 4,000 people. Meanwhile salaries for administrators—college deans, vice presidents and presidents— have increased 30 percent in the last three years.

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