Everyone would like a solution to the problem of rising college costs. While students worry that they cannot afford a college education, U.S. colleges and universities know they cannot really afford to educate them either, Time reports.

At a technology-intensive research university like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it now costs three times as much to educate an undergraduate as we receive in net tuition—that is, the tuition MIT receives after providing for financial aid. To push the research frontier and educate innovators in science and engineering demands costly instrumentation and unique facilities.

Even for institutions with substantial endowments, subsidizing a deficit...

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