Rather than learning to live within their means, Columbia University, where I teach, and New York University are engaged in a fierce competition to expand as widely and quickly as possible.
The article continues, mustering projections for future tuition without considering the forces at work:
With unemployment soaring, higher education has never been more important to society or more widely desired. But the collapse of our public education system and the skyrocketing cost of private education threaten to make college unaffordable for millions of young people. If recent trends continue, four years at a top-tier school will cost $330,000 in 2020, $525,000 in 2028 and $785,000 in 2035.
The "paying customers" of a college are its students. As the figures below make clear, college enrollment has continued to increase over time (click to enlarge 1, 2).
Nothing in the article ties the price of education with increases in the productivity of students. If students see that they are not learning anything, and so realize that their future wages will not increase enough to justify tuition, they will not attend college. An aggregation of such decisions will decrease the demand for education and cause tuition to fall.