where does all that money go?

Hi there!

I am from Sweden and a Bachelor in Culinary Arts. I just came back from a trip to NY and a visit of Parsons Product Design Department because I am thinking that an degree in Product Design could help me in my later work. I would love to design dinner-related stuff. I actually had the possibility to spend an entire week there. During my stay I talked and interviewed students, techs and teachers. Everybody kept tell me that Parsons in world-famous and the money well spend. Actually one teacher who teaches both at Parsons and Pratt advised me to consider Parsons. I personally loved my week there, the students were great.

…but I have to ask this question, where is the money going??? To the New School??

teachers salaries and benifits, but mostly to pay for their land and facilities which are extremely expensive in that locations. Most US schools operate as non-profit educational organizations, so there are no stock holders getting kickbacks if that’s what you are thinking.

In most of Europe the schools are subsidized by the government so the cost is split among all citizens, in the US, you only pay if you go, but if you are a US citizen you can get assistance from the government.

In my school, each student’s tuition fee for the class is abt the salary of the teacher for the entire semester. If you have 15 students in the class, you will wonder where the other 14’s tuition money go to.

To pay for that great building you guys have at CCS, and all the security gaurds that keep the rest of Detroit out.

I guess that’s the greatest waste of money in human history.

The security fine you $50 for illegal parking, but stands aside when someone’s breaking into your car.

My friend had his car parked right beside the security booth in the parking structure but still got broken into. How amazing is that?

You have to consider all the different kinds of expenses a school incurs. For instance, you’ve got salaries (plus benefits) for the faculty, staff, and administration. There are facilities to be built and maintained (from painting the walls to paying for heat and electricity to constantly upgrading computers and software). There are tone of “little” things that add up, that you may not really think about: plants in front of the buildings, clean bathrooms, etc.

Bringing in lecturers and other kinds of visitors is also a big expense, as is organizing exhibits and such. These re all vital parts of your education, and they cost some serious money.

Faculty, and even sometimes staff, get to attend professional development events, like conferences, as part of their jobs, and those expenses have to be covered.

Since a lot of the private schools in the U.S. are having problems with recruitment and retention, they have to spend more money on that: that means having a full admissions staff, spending money on advertising, catalogs, and other promotions, travelling to high schools and college fairs, following up on the phone with prospective students, etc.

I’m not defending any of this, just pointing out that all these expenses add up to a lot of money. Most schools have endowments for various kinds of expenses. But, the interest they’re receiving from those investments is probably pretty low these days and, if they’re not pulling in as many students as they need, or if their students are transferring out, then a school may be forced to raise tuition or fees to offset these other losses. They can figure out that no one will leave just because some lab fee has been increased.

Actually benefits will probably not be as big as a factor some may thing because most of the instructors are part time anyway.

Here they get huge amounts of donations from the big three. Detroit is no where near as expensive to live or run as compared to NYC. Considering there are over a thousand students a year each paying about $23000, they claim to be a non-profit organization.

BTW the dorm elevators are probably as old as the building itself and break down about 3 times a semester each. Each time they break down, they take weeks to be fixed. I’m lucky to live on the lower levels. Imagine if I have to carry my model all the way down from the 12th floor for presentation.

Yes I am a grumpy student, but who’s afraid to be complained about if everything’s being justified?

A question: Do you think we, as students, have the right to ask for the school’s budget and finance report, since it’s a non-profit organization?

Actually, I believe that nonprofits don’t have to publish annual reports, but many do anyway. Sometimes you can find that information online. If you join your school’s student government, you may be able to request access to that information. Basically, I think that, if you can explain that you want to better understand what’s involved, you may be able to find out more. If it seems like you’re just looking for ammunition so you can complain about your school, they’ll probably give you the run-around.

As for your statement that “they claim to be a non-profit organization,” you’re betraying your ignorance there. Just because there’s a lot of money at stake doesn’t mean that the school is out to gouge anyone. All I’m saying is that a zillion goods and services, all of which cost money, go into the running of a school, and they’re not all things you may think of as expenses (or consider important), but they add up.

Being a student in Sweden is very different from the US. I mean, we’re getting paid to go to school. I receive about 300 dollars a month for free, no strings attached. It is strange that systems can be so different from each other and still work. “Konstfack” in the middle of Stockholm is a very expensive spot as well, not Manhattan but still pricy real state. The facilities at Parsons did not impress me at all, old machinery and dirty classrooms! The computerrooms were ok, I guess but for that kind of serious money, I expected somewhat more…