Affordable College?

Kids Count

In today’s competitive world, a post-secondary education is practically a requirement for securing a reasonable standard of living. While a college education awards personal advantages and advantages for the nation as a whole, students and their families are increasingly being asked to pay a greater share of those costs.

An overview of the literature reveals that an alarming level of state disinvestment has occurred between 1990 and 2010. While state spending on education increased by $10.5 billion between 1910 and 2010, these increases have not kept pace with growing college enrollment and population growth. State funding per public full-time equivalent dropped by 26.1 percent from 1990 to 2010.

As state government funding of colleges has eroded over the last two decades, tuition and fees have reached unprecedented heights. These increases are leading to big student debt, decreasing access for low and moderate income students and ultimately making the U.S. less competitive as a nation.

Tuition and fees at public, four year colleges has more than doubled and increased by a whopping 112.5 percent. The cost for two year colleges increased by 71 percent during the same timeframe.

The amount of outstanding debt for American students has grown by a factor of 4.5 since 1999. North Carolina has long been a leader for their thoughtful investments in higher education their $917.2 million dollar state budget has reduced funding to public colleges and universities to a forty year low.

All of these attacks on public higher education are occurring at a time when American Household income has stagnated. Median household income in America has risen only 2 percent between 1990 and 2010. When these factors are calculated together, the sum total provides for an ominous outcome left unchecked. In addition, students that are graduating from college are facing a number of harsh realities not experienced by college grads before them.

Reach the writer at Hurlburt@wildblue.net

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