Commentary by Ed Stein
Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for colleges and universities to begin addressing the escalating cost of higher education. It’s about time. The cost of a college degree, even at state-supported universities, has for decades grown faster than inflation, and is becoming unaffordable to the student of average means. States strapped for cash in this downturn keep cutting higher education budgets, placing an ever-greater burden on students, many of whom now graduate with the crushing burden of huge student loans. If something is not done to slow down the rate of tuition growth, a college degree will become another luxury enjoyed only by the wealthy.
This chart illustrates Stein’s point:
I was struck by this chart because it illustrates the severity of college costs inflation by comparison to health care cost increases. Even if not currently affected by college costs, any one can see the impact of rising health costs. Now multiple by two and imagine having to pay tuition. College costs are rising twice as fast relative to inflation… Wow!
– Iron Filing