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Tyler Cowen

How Much Is a College Campus Worth?

It’s hard to answer that question without also asking how much a college education is worth.

Can you re-create this? Would you want to?

Can you re-create this? Would you want to?

Photographer: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

A university campus in Vermont has come up for auction. The minimum opening bid for the 155-acre grounds of now-defunct Green Mountain College, appraised four years ago at $20 million, is $3 million.

I can’t afford it myself. Still, I can’t help asking: What if a wealthy benefactor bought the place, started a new college or university, and put really smart people in charge? Could they sidestep the varied problems in higher education today — the high cost, the mediocre teaching, the excess political correctness?