Every day, we receive some new bit of economic news that leaves us depressed and frustrated. Food prices, stocks falling and layoffs all add to our daily misery. However, I think perhaps the worst bit of economic bad news crossed my desk today when I picked up the Wall Street Journal. It was enough to make me wonder if we have dug ourselves a hole from which we can never escape.
The issue at hand: College Education.
The story entitled “College May Become Unaffordable for Most in the U.S.” painted a grim picture for those hoping to acquire what come to be known as a necessity in today’s
World: a college education.
Among the facts that should make every parent fearful: College costs have increased 439% over the last 25 years while the median family income grew by just 147%. Student borrowing has more than doubled the last decade. These numbers don’t seem to be stopping their uphill climb or creating an even greater divide.
The point of the article, and my point as well, is that college is quickly becoming unaffordable for the average American family. I know went to school 20 years ago, but I paid a little more than $10K a year out of state. Now the cost to attend my alma mater has nearly doubled.
And let’s not even get into the cost of going to one of the higher level schools like an Ivy League institution. It now costs less to by a pretty-nice BMW than to attend the likes of Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Even worse, if you do borrow the money and somehow make it through college, unless you end up making six figures right out of college. That’s assuming companies are still paying six figures in this economy.
The rising cost of a college education is not news to anyone who pays attention to what’s going on … or to any parent who has a child in college. What is news is that they cost is rising so fast that many of our most talented young people are being priced out of the market … and when you start to phase out our future leaders because of finances, then the whole economy will suffer … for years to come.