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Making College Affordable

Student-loan debt, at $25,000 per graduating senior, now exceeds our nation’s credit card  debt. At the same time, the percentage of young people ages 16-24 who are working (around 49 percent) is the lowest since the government has been collecting data.  Today the cost of a college can range between $100,000 and $200,000 depending on whether the college is public or private.  Only 53 percent of today’s college graduate withing six years.  Annual college tuition is rising at close to twice the rate of inflation.

Why has the pace of increased college costs been rising so quickly?  Several factors should be considered:  Colleges continue to invest on improved infrastructure by  building classrooms, dorms and stadium.  Many tenured professors are paid not to teach in order to do research. Freshmen and sophomore classes are frequently taught by part-time lecturers in large lecture halls.  These lecturers are generally on one year contracts without health care, pensions or other benefits.

How long will students (and/or their parents) continue to borrow more for a less valuable education that takes longer, with less of an ability to pay off the increased student debt?

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