College Presidents Make How Much?

College Presidents Make How Much?

Off the top of your head, which careers earn a million-dollar salary?

Star athlete, celebrity or CEO comes to mind, but we're leaving out a surprising career path: college president.

The New York Times reports that the presidents of four universities earned more than $1 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year:  Auburn University, Ohio State University, George Mason University and Penn State University.


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In fact, all earned over $1.8 million and two earned over $2 million, including Graham Spanier, the university president who was ousted after the Penn State football scandal. His severance pay of $1.2 million brought his earnings for the year up to $2.9 million.

Even those university presidents who aren't breaking the million-dollar mark are still making some serious cash. A report by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which provided these figures, finds that the median total compensation for presidents of public research universities is $441,392 (as compared with the last year's $421,395).

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Hearing these figures, we can't help but recall that things aren't so bright for those on the other side of the administrative doors: the students. For the past twenty years, college costs have been rising two or three times as quickly as inflation, and the College Board reports that one year of tuition for an in-state public college can cost more than $22,000. For private colleges, out of state, the costs are more than $10,000 more.

It's no wonder student loans are so out of control: The current total for the U.S. student loan debt is about $966 billion, and the graduates bearing this cost report that their debts are keeping them from saving for retirement, buying homes and cars and even getting married.

It kind of makes you wonder: Where does all that money actually go?


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