Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How the UC Calculates the Instructional Cost and Funding per Student

In response to my research on how much it costs to educate each undergraduate student in the UC system, the UCOP budget office has written a report entitled, “Cost of Education Calculations at the University of California.” While I am waiting to receive responses to questions I have recently posed to the writers of the study, I wanted to stress some important facts. First of all, although they argue that they have been highly transparent in their budget information, it is apparent that this important information has never been posted on any of their web sites. Second, as you will see from the excerpts that I will present below, these budgetary calculations are very complex and counter-intuitive.

The two main topics of this report regard how much funds the UC receives per student and how much it spends on each additional student. I have been arguing that the UC already makes a healthy profit on each student, and so there is no reason to raise tuition or reduce enrollments. In fact, according to my calculations, it is financial suicide to reduce enrollments since undergraduate subsidize everything else going on at the university. To refute my claims, UCOP argues that I do not understand how the UC calculates state support, student fees, and the cost of educating each additional student.

Starting with the latter topic, the UC argues that the marginal cost to educate each additional student in 2009-10 was calculated to be $16,574. To get this amount, they add together the following average costs:

• Faculty salaries
• Calculated as the average annual salary of new professors assuming a student-faculty ratio of 18.7:1. In other words, for each 18.7 students, the University needs funding to hire one additional professor.
• The average salary of new faculty hired during 2008-09 was $95,657.
• The faculty salary component of marginal cost for 2009-10 was $5,115 per student.

• Faculty benefits
• Calculated as the base benefit amount of health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance for new faculty in the current year
• In 2009-10, the annual base benefit amount per new faculty FTE was $17,577.
• The faculty benefits component of marginal cost for 2009-10 was $940 per student.

• Teaching assistant (TA) salaries
• Calculated as the average annual salary, not including mandatory fee remissions, of a full-time TA and a student-TA ratio of 62:1.
• In 2009-10, the average 2008-09 TA salary was $33,274.
• The teaching assistant salary component of marginal cost for 2009-10 was $537 per student.

• Instructional equipment
• Calculated as the average annual cost to replace depreciated instructional equipment.
• The instructional equipment need estimated for 2006-07 and used in the 2009-10 marginal cost calculation was $103,867,314.
• The instructional equipment component of marginal cost for 2009-10 was $523 per student.

• Instructional support
• Includes technology and departmental support.
• In 2009-10, the instructional support component of marginal cost was $4,284 per student.

• Academic support
• Calculated based on average expenditures for libraries, general campus vivaria, and other related expenses. Does not include health science clinics and vivaria, demonstration schools, museums and galleries, and intercollegiate athletics.
• The total budgeted amount for academic support in 2008-09 used in the 2009-10 marginal cost calculation was $267,781,860.
• The 2009-10 marginal cost per student of academic support was $1,349.

• Student services
• Calculated based on average expenditures for admissions and financial aid administration, counseling and career guidance, student activities, and other educational services. Does not include student health program costs.
• The total budgeted amount for student services in 2008-09 used in the 2009-10 marginal cost calculation was $247,255,543.
• The 2009-10 marginal cost per student of student services was $1,246.

• Institutional support
• Calculated based on average expenditures for general administrative services (such as computer centers, information systems, and personnel) and fiscal operations (accounting, audit, and contract and grant administration); executive management, logistical services, risk mitigation and controls, and community relations are excluded and not funded by the State.
• The total budgeted amount for institutional support in 2008-09 used in the 2009-10 marginal cost calculation was $144,084,750.
• The 2009-10 marginal cost per student of institutional support was $726.

• Operation and maintenance of plant
• Calculated based on average expenditures for maintenance of building and grounds, utilities, refuse, janitorial service, and fire departments. Does not include plant administration and non-instruction and research space.
• The total budgeted amount for operation and maintenance in 2008-09 used in the 2009-10 marginal cost calculation was $367,666,404.
• The 2009-10 marginal cost per student of operation and maintenance was $1,853.

I have not edited any of these figures, and so we learn that the UC’s estimation of the direct instructional cost is actually lower than my calculation of $9,000. The question then is why is their total cost estimate so much higher, and the answer is that they assume that the indirect instructional costs make up over 60% of the total cost; in fact, they argue that the university pays almost the same amount for faculty salaries as it does for departmental support.

While I have several questions concerning this method of calculation, if we do accept it, we still have to ask how much funding the university brings in per student. Using UC’s own budget numbers, I have calculated that each student brings in a total of $23,000 in state funds and tuition dollars, but the budget office disputes this figure because they argue that much of the money coming from the state goes to programs that are unrelated to educating students: “A sizable portion of the funding provided by the State has little or nothing to do with educating enrolled students, but rather supports organized research, public service, or financial aid, all of which are part of UC’s mission, but none of which should be included in a calculation of resources available for instructional programs.” I do think this position would surprise many legislators and citizens who assume that the budget for “general instruction” would go to things having to do with educating students.

In order to calculate the state support per student, I simply took the total money the UC got from the state this year ($3 billion) and divided it by the total number of resident students (200,000), but the UC uses a much more complex formula: “The figure represents the estimated total funding from State General Funds, UC General Funds, and student fees on a per-student (again, general campus only) basis that is available to support general campus instruction (faculty salaries and benefits, instructional support, instructional equipment and technology) and support activities such as libraries, student services, administration, and operation and maintenance of plant. It excludes financial aid, as that is an expenditure to support access, not an expenditure to provide the instructional program. The State and UC General Fund components also exclude funding for health sciences instruction, research, and public service, as well as the health sciences, research, and public service components of support activities. The sum of the general campus share of State, UC, and student funding is divided by all general campus students—resident and nonresident—since the average cost of education is the same for residents and nonresidents alike.” If you have a hard time understanding this formula, you are not alone. Firstly, it should be pointed out that UCOP is including nonresident students in state support, and it also includes summer session when it counts student FTE. Secondly, it looks like they put together all of their sources of funding for the general fund, and then they divide it by the number of general campus students, but to do this, they have to subtract funding for health sciences, research, and public service. My big question here concerns how they calculate the cost of the things they subtract; in other words, what part of the health sciences, research, and public service is paid for by the state?

Since the budget office argues that much of the state funds go to non-instructional activities, they estimate that the state funding per student is under $10,000: “As noted above, the average cost of instruction should not include non-instructional costs such as health science instruction, research, public service, or non-instructional support activities; therefore, we remove these items from the numerator. For the non-instructional share of support activities, we determine the proportion of core mission activities (instruction/research and public service) that is non-instructional and remove the corresponding share from support activities.” Once again these calculations are centered on a judgment call over what proportion of the core mission budget is non-instructional; in other words, they have to estimate which parts of shared administration and staffing should be supported by the state and the students.

From my perspective, this report shows that students and the state are paying for the enormous increase in administrative costs on the campuses, and thus the economic solution is not to reduce enrollments or raise tuition; rather, the solution has to be to decrease the cost of non-instructional services. Faculty, citizens, students, and workers concerned about instruction and research should question these budgetary policies.


  1. It appears you are on to the same finding that Charles Schwartz came to. The UC does not want to provide data that would show that undergraduates are fully covering the cost of their education. Their "calculation" is purely rhetorical and aims to support the public positions they have already taken. Making the calculations convoluted is just another way of saying, "we don't want you to know what we don't want to know ourselves."

  2. The teaching assistant salary you listed, provided by UCOP, is greatly inflated and incorrect. The $33,274/year salary figure is based on a TA working 100% which is not allowed (nor would it be possible) in the UC system. TAs normally work 50% or 25% time so that they can also fulfill the requirements of their Ph.D. (doing coursework, taking qualifying exams, writing their dissertations, etc.). The 2010-11 salary of a teaching assistant working 50% at UCLA is $16,969.50/year.

  3. Elise--
    Just so we are all talking about the same thing, the UC figure (as Bob indicates) is for a TA FTE I think. You are correct that real TAs are never the same as an FTE but the calculation ends up at about the same as the figure you suggest.

  4. The AVERAGE new faculty salary is $95,657? After teaching at UC full-time for almost 30 years, and being officially declared to be "excellent" at my job over and over and over again, I am making about $67,000. What's my deficiency? I teach foundational, required courses in English composition. Grammar corps, not glamour corps. I know this beef is not germane to this discussion, but the pay discrepancy has galled me lo these 30 years.

    1. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon.www.bkkautolease.com |

      www.alllearnaboutstockmarket.com |

      www.customdraperyandhomefashions.com |

      www.supplements2n4health.com |

      www.wv-truck-accident-lawyer.com |

  5. Can you tell me what percent of the total expenditures of the university is to fund the salaries and fringe benefits of all the faculty?

  6. I just wanted to comment on your blog and say I really enjoyed reading your blog here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I'll be back soon to find out more mate.

  7. ZOPO ZP910 Smart Phone

    ZOPO ZP910 Smart Phone MTK6589 Quad Core Andriod 4.1 5.3 Inch IPS Screen 5.0MP Front Camera- Dark Blue

    ZOPO ZP950+Android 4.1 3G Phablet with 1GB RAM Dual SIM MTK6589 Quad Core 5.7

  8. http://www.burbagssale2013.com/ Burberry Outlet
    http://www.cheaphollistersale.co.uk/ Cheap Hollister Clothes
    http://www.coachblackfriday2014.com/ Coach Black Friday
    http://www.coach-storeoutletonline.com/ Coach Black Friday 2013
    http://www.coachcoachoutlet.com/ Coach Cyber Monday
    http://www.coachxfactory.com/ Coach Factory
    http://www.coach-factoryoutletonline.net/ Coach Outlet Factory
    http://www.coach-outletusa.com/ Coach Outlet USA
    http://www.coach-pursesfactory.com/ Coach Purses Factory
    http://www.coachpurseusa.com/ Coach Purses USA
    http://www.coach-storeoutlet.com/ Coach Store Outlet
    http://www.coachxpursesonsale.com/ Coach Purses On Sale
    http://www.discountbeatsbydresale.com/ Monster Beats Outlet
    http://www.louis-vuittonblackfriday.com/ Louis Vuitton Outlet
    http://www.lv-guccishoesfactory.com/ Louis Vuitton Factory
    http://www.marcjacobsonsale.com/ Marc Jacobs On Sale
    http://www.mcmworldwides.com/ MCM Outlet
    http://www.mcmoutlet-jp.com/ MCM 店铺
    http://www.oakleysunglassesfactory.com/ cheap oakley sunglasses
    http://www.michaelkorsmas.com/ Michael Kors Outlet
    http://www.michaelkors.so/ Michael Kors Outlet
    http://www.michaelkorsfactory-store.com/ Michael Kors Factory
    http://www.michaelkorsoutletr.com/ Michael Kors Outlet
    http://www.michael-korsfactoryonline.com/ Michael Kors Factory Online
    http://www.newcoachfactory.com/ Coach Factory Outlet
    http://www.north-faceoutletonlines.net/ North Face Outlet Online
    http://www.polo-outletstore.com/ Polo Outlet Store
    http://www.ralphlaurenuker.com/ Ralph Lauren UK
    http://www.saclongchamppairs.com/ Sac Longchamp Pairs
    http://www.tcoachoutletonline.com/ Coach Outlet Online
    http://www.the-coachfactoryoutlet.com/ Coach Factory Oultet
    http://www.uggaustralia.cc/ Ugg Australia
    http://www.barbour-jacketsoutlet.com/ Barbour Jackets Outlet Online
    http://www.canada-gooser.com/ Canada Goose Outlet
    http://www.guccishoesuk2014.com/ Gucci Outlet Online
    http://www.michaelkors-states.com/ Michael Kors Outlet
    http://www.moncler-clearance.com/ Moncler Clearance
    http://www.moncler-jacketsoutletonline.com/ Moncler Jackets Outlet Online
    http://www.northsclearance.com/ North Clearace Outlet
    http://www.polo-ralphlaurensoutlet.com/ Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Online
    http://www.woolrich-clearance.com/ Woolrich Clearance
    http://www.cvshopfactory.com/ shop.coachfactory.com
    http://www.mksfactoryoutlet.com/ Michael Kors Factory Outlet
    http://www.zxcoachoutlet.com/ Coach Outlet Online USA
    http://www.thebeatsbydre.com/ Beats by Dre
    http://www.newoutletonlinemall.com/ Coach Purses Outlet Online
    http://www.clickmichaelkors.com/ Michael Kors USA

  9. http://www.shopbestgoods.com/

    1. Apakah Anda pernah mengunjungi setiap agen ibcbet Dengan sekolah khusus agen sbobet, maksud saya sekolah Game Ibcbet Terpopuler untuk anak berkebutuhan khusus Tips Memilih Situs Agen Ibcbet Terpercaya. Anda mungkin belum agen bola tangkas, jika anak Anda tidak menderita autisme tangkas online indonesia. Saya berharap bola tangkas tidak ada yang melakukan. Saya agen bola tangkas akan mendorong Anda tangkas online indonesia untuk menyenangkan mengunjungi tangkas online sekolah tersebut beberapa hari. Jika agen poker Anda adalah manusia dewa poker yang nyata, Anda akan pergi keluar, berubah. poker online poker online indonesia

  10. Getting the most from solar energy isn’t something that every person knows how to accomplish. However, simply by learning a bit about it, it is easy for you to become an authority to your family and friends.
    www.residenttechnologies.com |

    www.edtechhackathon.com |

    www.numinustech.com |

    www.monitoranycomputer.com |

    www.technews404.com |

  11. Very interesting topic will bookmark your site to check if you write more about in the future. I have just bookmarked this site for future reference.855Online.com Agen Bola SBOBET IBCBET Casino 338A Tangkas Togel Online Indonesia Terpercaya

  12. love it! very interesting topics, I hope the incoming Agen Ibcbet comments and suggestion are equally positive. Thanks for sharing information that is actually helpful. I am preparing a college paper and collecting Agen Sbobet information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one site. Agen Ibcbet

  13. love it! very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positive. obat herbal
    crystal x asli
    obat keputihan
    crystal x
    Ciri crystal x
    I think you mean Portsea! :) Thanks for sharing information that is actually helpful. I am preparing a college paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one site.

  14. Ada beberapa pengecualian untuk aturan ini. Jika saya di pertandingan persahabatan pokerbintang.com, jika saya di pertandingan duniatangkas.com kandang, atau bahkan jika saya dalam suasana hati yang santai dan bermain supertangkas.com dengan orang lain yang juga ada untuk "bersenang-senang" tidak "bisnis", maka saya mungkin menunjukkan beberapa ibcbetkita.net lebih tangan dari saya biasanya.

  15. This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. Everything is very interesting to learn and easy to understood. Thank you for giving information.
    sword sand souls | ninjago games | hola launcher | agario | cooking fever | goodgame big farm | red ball 4 | agar io | subway surfers | paradise bay

  16. This is a great article. It gave me a lot of useful information. thank you very much.
    Geometry Dash 2.0 |Dr Driving | Trollface Quest 2 | Square Quick

  17. Vejo um aumento na taxa de matrícula seria um grande obstáculo para os estudantes, eles têm muito com que se preocupar. Eu tinha que viajar e usar retrica baixar l b612 baixar para se sentir mais confortável. Vejo muitas queixas de amigos em facebook baixar l facebook baixar. Eles não gosto

    Mostly people have all the same things when they are writing academic task or any other writing, especially light music most people like during the writing.

    subway surf , baixar subway surf, subway surf download , download subway surf

  19. that's so complicated im having a headache reading it

  20. nice to visit your blogspot and thank for information

  21. Thanks for providing good information,Thanks for your sharing.


  22. <a href="https://www.247customerservicenumber.com/airlines/jetblue-reservations-phone-number/</a> Thanks for the information provided by you it’s really great to help from your side but I got the complete solution from the mentioned site

  23. Air Canada Book A Flight Thanks for sharing such a nice Blog. I really appreciate that please keep on posting more Blog like this Thank you.

  24. It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you just shared this helpful information with us
    follow Turkish Airlines Cancellation for cancellation of flights

  25. Hello, this blog information has informative. And another one information regarding flights ticket reservation. The cheap price airlines ticket booking.
    American Airlines Numeros de Telefono

  26. If your question regarding airlines ticket booking or you find the best travel agent number dial 1-802-231-1806. If You contact here you easily and cheap your airlines booking. Visit Aeromexico telefono

  27. I see your post. It is so informative and wonderful information for me. Thanks for sharing your hard work and skills. If you are any Issue regarding travel like airlines booking or cancellations visit Asiana Airlines Reservation

  28. southwest airlines customer service to know everything about southwest airlines, plan your holidays with southwest airlines and get the best deals on ticket booking via southwest airlines Booking number. travel with your family and friend and get the best offer. For more info contact southwest airlines toll-free number.

  29. instagram
    instagram login
    instagram video download
    instagram download
    instagram reels download
    instagram reels video download
    instagram story saver
    instagram bio for girls
    instagram app
    instagram account delete
    instagram autofree.in
    instagram apk
    instagram account
    instagram account hacked
    instagram account delete permanently
    instagram auto liker
    instagram bio
    instagram bio for boys
    instagram bio in punjabi
    instagram bio in punjabi for girl
    instagram bio for boys attitude
    instagram background
    instagram blue tick copy
    instagram captions
    instagram captions for boys
    instagram captions for girls
    instagram captions in punjabi
    instagram create new account
    instagram customer care
    instagram change password
    instagram customer service number
    instagram dp
    instagram download video
    instagram delete account
    instagram download for pc
    instagram download apk
    instagram dp for girls
    instagram delete my account permanently
    instagram email
    instagram emoji
    instagram email id
    instagram engagement checker
    instagram extension for chrome
    instagram engagement calculator
    instagram email address
    instagram earn money
    instagram followers
    instagram followers free
    instagram fonts
    instagram followers increase
    instagram forgot password
    instagram followers hack
    instagram fake followers
    instagram font style

  30. Windows 11 is the redesigned version of Windows 10 and that is why it has much more features than the ones present in Windows 10. But, I didn’t know how to download windows 11 iso file 64 bit and 32 bit versions of Windows 11 on my computer. However, this blog helped me a lot in the same and guided me towards making a good 32 & 64-bit Windows 11 Download, and that too free of cost.

  31. Enjoy free video interviewing with the updated version of Jobma and connect to worldwide candidates to discover, engage and hire start talent for the position remotely. Jobma an online video interview platform that helps you structure recruitment interviews using live video, screen sharing, and analyzing the recordings.

    video interview platform
    video interview software

  32. Lucy Carter is an online Marketing Expert with 7 years of experience and is well versed with SEO, SMM, PPC. She is currently working with an online reservation platform.

    Delta flight deals
    Southwest airlines book a flight
    JetBlue travel bank

  33. The airline gives full information regarding the deferral or the cancellation of the trip to the traveler within 30 minutes. Additionally, declarations will be made on the boarding entryway region and furthermore a similar will be passed on through messages or email.

    Delta Airlines Office Cape Town

    Delta Airlines Office Cape Town

  34. The customers have the flexibility to cancel their existing reservations through various modes. They can cancel their tickets online by visiting Turkish Airlines' official site or through the airline's Mobile App. If the customers however decided not to do online cancellations themselves then they inclined toward the disconnected mode by personally visiting the nearest office of Turkish Airlines or at the airline's airport ticket counter.

    Turkish Airlines Office Washington DC

    Turkish Airlines Office Washington DC

  35. The carrier migrated its center point tasks from Ataturk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport in a staged change that was finished in 2019. Their administration started on May 20, 1933, with five planes and under 30 individuals, and it proceeds today as the carrier that serves the most nations all over the planet, denoting their 87th year. The onboard WiFi administration is free for Business class travelers and Miles&Smiles Elite individuals. Economy travelers can likewise involve the help of a couple.

    Turkish Airlines Office Kherson

  36. Some of the services exclusive to business travelers with the airline are needed registration and boarding and pre-departure drinks. Ready, the seats are spacious for you to relax and work without hassle. The seats, which can change over into a fully flat bed, provide a relaxing sleep.

    British Airways Sri Lanka office

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.