The real story on Harvard's supposed generosity

Continuing the theme from yesterday's entry about Harvard's forest in Hamilton, educational consultant Steve Goodman writes in today's Globe about Harvard's recent decision to increase undergraduate financial aid and the Senate Finance Committee's concern about whether or not there is sufficient public good resulting from the tax breaks that help university endowments grow so big.

All this talk about the announcement helps Harvard and other universities sidestep the real questions.

Why does an institution of higher learning have $35 billion in its back pocket anyway?

Why has it become customary for universities to spend only a small fraction of their interest income - and not even the endowment funds themselves - for daily operations?

Why do American taxpayers continue to subsidize schools that increasingly operate like for-profit companies - and less like tax-exempt educational foundations that are charged with educating the next generation?

The real story on Harvard's generosity - The Boston Globe

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