Monday, February 1, 2010

In the News: Grade Deflation and Cost Inflation

Yes, apparently Princetonian grade deflation woes have made it to the national stage. The New York Times recently published a feature in its education highlighting the controversy surrounding the University's policy. You can read more about how we grumble about grade deflation here.

The article does a pretty good job of summarizing the arguments surrounding the policy and notes that the policy has reduced the number of A students among us. In fact, it seems as though the average Princeton student is becoming increasingly B+. The average GPA of the graduating class has fallen 0.05 points since 2003 to 3.39 for the Class of 2009.

But what's this? Not all is deflating? Find out more after the jump.

Several days before the grade deflation article was published, The New York Times published a note on inflation and the University's tuition. The rising cost of attending Princeton was covered in greater detail by the 'Prince' .

It seems that the combined cost of undergraduate tuition, room, board, and other fees will be increasing by 3.3% for the coming academic year. The Times notes that this figure "tops inflation", and while that may be, the annual inflation rate is close behind at 2.7% (Dec. 2008 to Dec. 2009).

Interestingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the cost of medical care has increased by 3.4% over the same period. Those of us who have taken Macro may remember that the costs of education and medicine tend to rise at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. This is because these are two 'industries' that can't become anymore efficient.