Wednesday, December 3, 2008

College May Become Unaffordable for Most in U.S.

According to this recent New York Times article:

“Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, adjusted for inflation, while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families.

“If we go on this way for another 25 years, we won’t have an affordable system of higher education,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the center, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher education.

“When we come out of the recession,” Mr. Callan added, “we’re really going to be in jeopardy, because the educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive. Already, we’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.”

“The middle class has been financing it through debt,” he said. “The scenario has been that families that have a history of sending kids to college will do whatever if takes, even if that means a huge amount of debt.”

But low-income students, he said, will be less able to afford college. Already, he said, the strains are clear.

Although I did enjoy my college experience, the amount of student loan debt I currently have makes me cringe sometimes. I probably should have taken steps to lower my education costs such as: staying home and attending an in-state institution, working full time while attending school part time, being overall more vigilant in my scholarship search, etc. But you can't go backwards and I did enjoy experiencing another city though DC is not very far from Philadelphia. It seems sad that college is out of reach for so many Americans simply because of money.


Money Maus said...

I've heard about that. It's already VERY expensive. :(

fdiary said...

I heard they are already scaling back on the number of banks that are offering student loans.

Another alternative is a in-state college (this is what my son did) living off campus with a few roommates if that is a more affordable options then the dorms for your undergrad and then pursuing your graduate degree through your employer via tuition reimbursement.