(foxnews) – The White House won’t say if President Biden regrets taking nearly $1 million over three years from the University of Pennsylvania – for a gig that involved teaching no regular courses and whether that money would have been better used helping students avoid taking out massive loans.
After leaving the White House following the Obama years, Biden took up professional residence at UPenn, where he became the university’s first Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor.
In his vaguely-defined role at the school, Biden was paid $371,159 in 2017 and $540,484 in 2018 and early 2019, his financial disclosures show. The president’s duties in his three-year tenure included not teaching regular classes and attending about a dozen high-profile, big-ticket events.
As Biden was paid nearly $1 million over three years for teaching no regular classes and engaging in six ticketed, high-profile speaking events, students were stuck shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to cover UPenn’s astronomical tuition rates.
According to UPenn’s website, the tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year was $54,652 for on-campus living. This number has since risen to $56,212 for the 2022-2023 academic year. However, the estimated cost for students is over $80,000 if you factor in housing, dining, transportation, and textbooks.
On-campus is not the only pricey living arrangement for UPenn students — living off-campus in the 2021-2022 academic year cost students $80,558. That cost also rose for the 2022-2023 academic year to $83,134.
Fox News Digital asked the White House whether Biden’s near-million-dollar haul could have been used to pay for struggling students’ tuition or offset the rising costs of education, and whether Biden regrets taking such a huge sum from the university.
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates wouldn’t answer those questions directly but referred Fox News Digital to an economist’s comments in a 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article about Biden’s hefty payday. The economist told the paper at the time that “if this moves the needle even a little bit in terms of getting a big donation, then it’s instantly worth the investment.”
“And President Biden is holding colleges accountable for defrauding students and raising costs without raising value, in contrast to the previous administration, who did the opposite,” Bates added.
Bates also pointed to UPenn’s statement saying the president’s tenure at the school “was phenomenally successful” following Biden’s departure to head to the White House.
Biden announced his $10,000 student loan handout last week, irking both Republicans and vulnerable Democrats as the national debt nears $31 trillion.
A week after the announcement, the Biden administration has remained silent on who will foot the bill.