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Heads of colleges rake in the millions as tuition and loans increase

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If you look closely at federal tax filings, a new trend is uncovered.

As the salary for college presidents has increased, so too has tuition and loans.

That data used in a survey, “Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges,” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, represents about 600 schools. And it ranks, according to calculations by the Chronicle, the average total salary of heads in US colleges. In 2015, that average number was $569,932, up by 9 percent from the previous year. This is an increase that "certainly raises eyebrows,” said Dan Bauman, a data reporter for the Chronicle, in an interview with Bloomberg.

2015 is the year in which a record number of schools, 58 colleges, noticeably began compensating their presidents in the excess of millions or more. This number of colleges is up from 39 in 2014. But the pay packages are worth more, with other added pay components and benefits of deferred compensation plans, bonus pay, housing, healthcare and retirement payouts.

Below is a list of the top 10 schools with the highest paid private-college heads based on the Chronicle’s survey:

10. New School

David E. Van Zandt

Total compensation: $2,081,584

9. Bradley University

Joanne K. Glasser

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Total compensation: $2,350,851

8. University of Dayton

Daniel J. Curran

Total compensation: $2,442,168

7. Boston University

Robert A. Brown

Total compensation: $2,483,146

6. Columbia University

Lee C. Bollinger

Total compensation: $2,507,637

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5. University of Chicago

Robert J. Zimmer

Total compensation: $2,864,887

4. University of Pennsylvania

Amy Gutmann

Total compensation: $3,086,395

3. University of Southern California

C.L. Max Nikias

Total compensation: $3,182,364

2. Emory University

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James W. Wagner

Total compensation: $3,510,451

1. Wake Forest University

Nathan O. Hatch

Total compensation: $4,004,617

Below is the list of public-college heads, which are paid less than their private-college colleagues:

10. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Raymond Watts

Total compensation: $890,000

9. University of Iowa

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Jean E. Robillard

Total compensation: $929,045

8. Texas A&M University at College Station

Michael K. Young

Total compensation: $1,000,000

7. Ohio State University

Michael V. Drake

Total compensation: $1,034,574

6. Pennsylvania State University at University Park

Eric J. Barron

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Total compensation: $1,039,717

5. Indiana State University System

Michael A. McRobbie

Total compensation: $1,067,074

4. University of Florida

W. Kent Fuchs

Total compensation: $1,102,862

3. Texas A&M University system office

John Sharp

Total compensation: $1,280,438

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2. University of Texas system

William H. McRaven

Total compensation: $1,500,000

1. Arizona State University

Michael M. Crow

Total compensation: $1,554,058

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The U.S. Department of Education reports that “average annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $16,188 at public institutions, $41,970 at private nonprofit institutions.” The cost at public schools rose by 33 percent, while at private schools the cost rose by 25 percent, after adjustment for inflation.

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