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Ohio's Public Universities Owe $6.5 Billion In Debt

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Ohio’s 14 public universities owe $6.5 billion for debt mostly created by what some education experts call unnecessary campus building booms.

College officials say they have been constructing necessary facilities. But some higher education experts say universities have gone on unnecessary spending sprees to lure students to their campuses.

An official with Moody’s Investor Service says most public universities across the country have doubled their debt in the last decade, partly driven by a highly competitive environment. Moody’s senior vice president says the debt levels remain manageable for most universities because revenues and enrollments have grown too.

But Ohio University economist Richard Vedder says Ohio should consider putting caps on what colleges can borrow. He says that might slow down the competition among campuses.