Financing of Private Colleges

November 27, 1968

Report Outline
Money Troubles of Private Colleges
Inadequacy of Higher Education Funding
Pressure for Greater Federal Support

Money Troubles of Private Colleges

Threat to Identity of the Independent College

A financial bind in the private sector of higher education in the United States threatens to narrow the traditional distinctions between the private and the public colleges and universities, and perhaps to eliminate entirely many of the privately supported independent institutions. There is wide agreement that such an eventuality would constitute a tragic loss of diversity and imaginative enterprise in American education. Leading educational authorities believe that grants from public funds to help meet operating costs hold the only hope for survival of more than a handful of non-public colleges and universities.

Almost all major national organizations in the higher education field have taken action over the past year to impress on public opinion—and on political leaders—what they consider an acute need for increased government funding of the general expenses of higher education, public and private alike. Representatives of seven national associations of colleges and universities issued on Nov. 12 the latest of a series of calls for new federal grants to institutions of higher education to avoid “an impending disaster.”

But there are some who worry: If the federal government or state governments were to come to the rescue of foundering private institutions, how private could they remain? Alan Pifer, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, foresees a day when privately financed colleges and universities may well disappear from sight as a result of ever-mounting federal aid. He would not be surprised if, by the year 2000, the federal government, which now finances around one-fourth of the country's higher education budget, had come to foot virtually the entire bill—thus in effect turning the private colleges into the equivalent of public institutions. Future blurring of differences between the state and municipal universities and privately administered colleges is expected also by Allan M. Cartter, chancellor of New York University and director of the American Council on Education's Commission on Plans and Objectives for Higher Education.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
College Financing
Oct. 25, 2019  College Costs
Nov. 18, 2016  Student Debt
Oct. 21, 2011  Student Debt
Jan. 25, 2008  Student Aid
Dec. 05, 2003  Rising College Costs
Nov. 20, 1992  Paying for College
May 19, 1989  What's Behind High College Price Tags
May 23, 1986  Student Aid
Aug. 14, 1981  Tuition Tax Credits
Feb. 24, 1971  College Financing
Nov. 27, 1968  Financing of Private Colleges
Mar. 25, 1959  Costs of Education
May 04, 1955  Higher Education For The Millions
Budget and the Economy
College Financing and Funding
Undergraduate and Graduate Education