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Author(s):Johnson, N
Title:What does a college degree cost? Comparing approaches to measuring "cost per degree"
Source:http://www.deltacostproject.org/resources/pdf/j...
Date:2009
Organization:Delta Cost Project
Short Description:Determining the cost of a degree is not a simple question to answer in a system that has made enrollments — i.e., the credit hour, the FTE — the primary unit of accounting, rather than the completed degree. This paper explores approaches using accounting data from the State University System of Florida (SUS), at different levels of detail.
Annotation:Determining the cost of a degree is not a simple question to answer in a system that has made enrollments — i.e., the credit hour, the FTE — the primary unit of accounting, rather than the completed degree. Consensus around a single method may be neither possible nor desirable, given the range of different policy contexts in which the question comes up. A common language, however, could help keep discussions of the issue more focused than they often are. This paper suggests the beginnings of that language by briefly outlining five approaches to degree costs: catalog cost, transcript cost, full cost attribution, regression-based cost estimates, and student’s cost of a degree. This paper explores the first three approaches using accounting data from the State University System of Florida (SUS), at different levels of detail.
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