A recent study by Bain & Co and Sterling Partners, reports THE ECONOMIST, found that long term debt among universities and colleges has been growing at about 12% a year. Of the 1692 institutions surveyed between 2006 and 2010, one-third are in a financially weaker position than they had been before that time frame.
The reason is familiar: Overexpansion. They built a state of the art this and a state of the art that. They paid top dollar to recruit top faculty who could bring in research grants and more students. They established campuses abroad.
In his book "How The Mighty Fall," management expert Jim Collins calls this flaw the "Undisciplined Pursuit of More." Because of it companies like Rubbermaid are here no more. Best Buy, after that undisciplined pursuit of more and more retail space is fighting for survival. Our alma maters might be some day transferring our transcripts to some communal storage location where they can be retrieved although the institutions themselves no longer exist. My undergraduate alma mater Seton Hill, in western Pennsylvania, had paid the full freight for my tuition. Maybe I should consider helping defray whatever its debt load is.