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Public Investment in Private Higher Education

Public Investment in Private Higher Education

Estimating the Value of Nonprofit College and University Tax Exemptions

Joshua Humphreys, Ann Solomon

Starting with the concept of a “social contract” between colleges and the public, this paper provides a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the taxpayer support that private, nonprofit higher-education institutions receive in exchange for providing a public good for the benefit of society as a whole. To do this, the authors have developed a new methodology for estimating the value of federal, state and local tax exemptions received by these institutions, using Northeastern University as a case study.

"[One] of the most trenchant, clear reports on the foibles of higher education finance since The Jungle muckracker Upton Sinclair self-published The Goose-Step: A Study of American Higher Education in 1922."

–Wick Sloane in Inside Higher Ed

accountability, endowments, equity, higher education, transparency


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