Harvard is not alone. Tuitions run faster than other prices. Look at this:
Probably the best technical university in the world, which is CalTech, maintains a 3:1 student-faculty ratio, and is adequately proud of it. There is a lot to be proud of: Nobel Laureates: 32, National Medal of Science Recipients: 57, National Medal of Technology Recipients: 13, National Academies Memberships: 111; sorry, Khan Academy, this is a different level.
And sorry, students, freshman's annual tuition is $41,790, not including other costs. Quality has its costs. You cannot replace top teachers and scientists with robots.
On the other end of the scale, prices of consumer electronics and computers have fallen rapidly. High level of automation did it. Robots welcome here.
As money supply growth (MZM) reached more than 80 percent in the period from 2005 to 2014, a 40% growth of college tuitions and fees is not that bad—relatively speaking. It's the combination of expansive monetary policy and low productivity growth, which makes tuitions in elite universities so expensive.