Dissenting voices: “There is no college cost crisis”

So says Stanley Fish in his NYTimes review of economists Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman’s new book, “Why Does College Cost So Much?”:

The causes of the increase in college costs (an increase that has not, [Archibald and Feldman] contend, put college “out of reach”) are external; colleges are responding, as they must, to changes they cannot ignore and still provide a quality product. Chief among these is the change in the sophistication and cost of the technology that has at once transformed the setting of higher education and become one of the areas of knowledge higher education must impart to students.

This is an intriguing dissent from what Archibald and Feldman call the “new orthodoxy” or the “dysfunctionality narrative” of spiraling college costs.  As Fish himself opines:

As a dean who encountered the rising costs of personnel, laboratory equipment, security, compliance demands, information systems and much more every day, I knew [my own critiques written in 2003 were] basically right, but I am happy to ride (belatedly) on the coattails of people who really know what they’re talking about.

What do you think?  Is technology the major driver of increased costs in higher education?  Or are other, more relevant factors at work here?

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