July 7th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's something that will scare you out of a vacation if you've got kids in high school or junior high school: During the past 20 years, tuition and fees at public universities have jumped nearly 130%, and they're going up some more - again. With states facing budget crunches like never before, some state colleges and universities are being forced to raise tuition and fees even higher.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/07/07/art.tuition.jpg caption=""]
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, 25 governors have proposed slashing college funding in their states. That would total $5 billion in potential cuts nationwide. And these cuts in funding are forcing colleges in some states to boost tuition by more than 20%.

In Arizona, for example, the legislature voted to slash higher education funding by $198 million in fiscal year 2012. As a result, tuition will jump 22% at the University of Arizona, more than 19% at Arizona State University and 15% at Northern Arizona University. Incoming freshmen at the University of Arizona this fall will pay more than $10,000 a year, almost double what freshmen in 2008 paid.

Public colleges and universities in California, Pennsylvania, Washington and New Hampshire are also being forced to raise tuition because of state budget issues. And schools in Florida and Tennessee are also raising tuition as federal stimulus dollars have dried up.

And considering the median income for middle-class Americans is actually $400 less than it was 20 years ago, more and more young people and their parents are digging themselves a deeper hole just so they have a better shot in a dismal job market.

Here’s my question to you: Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

It is so long as we have an expectation of receiving a degree in four years. Many students, young and not so young, have worked their way through college over a period of many years. Although I would love to see tuition at a more reasonable level, higher education is still attainable to those who pursue their dreams with dogged determination.

Olga in Austin, Texas:
In the early 60s, I was enrolled at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas and my tuition was $500.00 a semester. The cost of education has gone up because most universities are administratively top heavy and they need to address this issue before they address anything else.

Tom in Desoto, Texas:
It seems that way. You're either a Wall Streeter, a banker or handing out food orders though drive-up windows.

Pete in Georgia:
I love that term "higher education." Talk about a misnomer! We've been duped into thinking by paying obscene fees and tuitions that somehow these overrated and over-funded universities turn out intelligence. Based on the accelerated rate of the dumbing of America over the past 30 years, it's impossible to deny what a scam is being perpetrated. The cost is not only prohibitive, it's immoral.

Roger in Albion, Pennsylvania:
It's still cheaper than the high cost of not being educated.

Carla in Birmingham, Alabama:
The cost of higher education has always been prohibitive, but people have managed to attend college and get their degrees. There is already too much ignorance, irrationality, and poor judgment on this planet. We need all the educated citizens with level heads that we can get.

Sure, it costs a lot more, but honestly, it's worth $100,000 to get my kid a degree, from a simple competitive standpoint. What's $100,000 over 40 years or so? $1,400 per year? I imagine his/her degree will earn him/her more than that per year. Assuming he works for 40 years. Or at least I hope so.

Rich in Texas:
Oh come on, Jack. Even you know one of the largest job employers last year in America was McDonalds, the other Wal-Mart. It does not take a college degree to get promoted to fries or yell, "Clean up on aisle 12." For the jobs that are available in America, college is not a requirement.

Filed under: Education
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Dave in Phoenix

    Yes, the plan of the rich is working. Keep that upper class soild by denying everyone else health coverage and affordable education. Two things that the government should provide in the protection and care of its citizens. Too bad our government suffered a cout during the Bush administration.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  2. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Yes, it has become prohibitive. Butr the cost to a nation of not having an educated population is even higher. Look at Somalia and other countries we can all name.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  3. Carla from Birmingham, Alabama

    The cost of higher education has always been prohibitive, but people have managed to attend college and get their degrees. There is already too much ignorance, irrationality, and poor judgement on this planet - we need all the educated citizens with level heads that we can get.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  4. Tom in Desoto, TX

    It seems that way. Your either a Wall Streeter, a bank or handing out food order thought drive up windows.

    July 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: Yes, indeed!!! The cost of a 4 year state supported university 30 years ago cost $10,000.00 for an undergraduate degree, but today at the same university it cost $55,000.00 for the same degree. This is about a 400% increase for tuition, room, and board at a southern university. My son finished up a few years ago at the same university his parents finished in 1972. What is wrong with picture?

    July 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Rick, Medina, OH


    I recently completed a Doctorate ... a DBA ... Doctor of Business Administration at age 57. The cost per credit hour when completed was about 6 times than when I started. Sure ... everything costs more ... but health care and education rise at a faster pace. We cannot improve our nation's posture in the world without more healthy and well educated people. If we don't fix this, our outcome will mirror the Romans!

    Medina, OH

    July 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  7. Olga O. Pina

    In the early 60s, I was the recipient of a 4-year scholarship by the Jessie V. Stone Foundation (W. Clement Stone in Chicago).

    I was enrolled at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas and my tuition was paid by them at $500.00 a semester. I had a very successful career and taught at Laredo Independent School District for 19 years...

    So I believe that Universities need to pay their teachers well, train their staff so that students can achieve their dreams. The cost of education has gone up because most universities are administratively top heavy and they need to address this issue before they address anything else.

    My lifetime of learning continues and my gratitude to W. Clement Stone is heartfelt...

    Austin, Texas

    July 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  8. jimmy in north carolina

    Not prohibitive if you have rich parents. Of course that has pretty much been the criteria in the past as well. What makes it prohibitive is what to do after you get that impressive degree? Where are all these college grads going to work?

    July 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    Yes, and the last thing this country needs right now is more ignoramuses. A couple of quotes from real founding fathers, that happen to be some of my favorites:

    “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.” John Adams

    "A system of general education, which shall reach every description of our citizens from the richest to the poorest, as it was the earliest, so will it be the latest of all the public concerns in which I shall permit myself to take an interest." Thomas Jefferson

    July 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  10. Elinor Bowles

    The exorbitant cost of education is killing the American Dream: that every generation should have a better life than the generation before it. For some of our young people this is fine - those whose parents live very well, with all of life's necessities and more. But for poor people - especially poor people of color - the prohibitive cost of education has turned the American dream into a nightmare.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  11. Pete in Georgia

    I love that term "higher education".
    Talk about a misnomer !!
    We've been duped into thinking by paying obscene fees and tuitions that somehow these over rated and over funded universities turn out intelligence. Based on the accelerated rate of the dumbing of America over the past 30 years it's impossible to deny what a scam is being perpetrated.
    The cost is not only prohibitive.....................it's immoral.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Its not becoming, It already is too expensive. I was able to graduate with minimal help, a part time job and the GI bill and no life long loans, but that was 36 years ago.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  13. holly

    I don't think it is... I think the reason why the cost is so high is because of the students who a) should not be admitted or readmitted in the first place, b) people who are allowed to take classes over and over again after failing, c) people who change their majors nine times and d) the medical universities who are giving away health care. Your average student, just like a customer in a store, has to pay for these "risky investments" that colleges make.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  14. Bill in New Mexico


    The cost of higher education is becoming prohibitive!

    The list of reasons is long and growing.

    It is true here in New Mexico.

    New Mexico spends and then puts some bonds on the ballot. Bonds, New Mexico knows its citizens want.

    On the November 2010 ballot was a fifty million dollar bond for higher education.

    But, the voters were angry over the debt that the Santa Fe government had already gotten the state into.

    The voters voted the bond for education down.

    To overcome this big cut for higher education, tuition is being increased.

    There is a danger of getting into a viscious spiral. Higher tuition causes fewer students which causes higher tuition which causes even fewer students–and so on.

    New Mexico will have fewer and fewer students in higher education in the future.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Yes I think it definitely is. Years ago when my father was a child a college education wasn't even thought of, that reality only belong to people with money who could afford to send their children to college. Then after WWII there was the GI bill along with other helped and more people entered college than ever before. Now we're going backwards good students can no longer afford a college education. This is one of the many reasons why I feel we are becoming a two class nation of rich and poor.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

    Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?

    If we stopped subsidizing education all over the world and used those funds to educate our children then this question wouldn't even be asked.

    Roseville CA

    July 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  17. Barbara from Coral Springs, Fl

    It is out of control, and more so for middle class families who are struggling with paying their monthly bills, not letting their homes foreclose or filing bankruptcy. If you are low income, the goverment will pay for most of it or give loans for it, which if the president has his way will be forgiven sometime down the road.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  18. Minesh - Troy, MI

    Yes Jack. Because the society has been brain-washed to think that a 4 year college degree is the key to success. With fast changing work environment and a global economy – people who learn to quickly adapt will succeed. Minesh Baxi, Troy MI

    July 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  19. WGS in PA


    Quality education and higher education are only for the wealthy few. There are no jobs for most graduates already. There is no need for education. Why, the graduates might think as citizens, they should be participants in the economy of the richest nation on the planet. No, the very rich have no plan to share.

    But the lenders are more than willing to lend money to would be students who will end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt which can NOT be discharged with bankruptcy which is a business monopoly action to allow corporations to stiff creditors and cancel contracts they signed in good faith.

    Education on credit is a great for profit business, mostly immune to market forces so widely admired by those unable to think

    July 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  20. 2011eyes

    Everything is becoming prohibitive due to atrocious greed and lack of Congressional decency.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  21. Russ in PA

    Prohibitive for whom? For the average American, sure. So why don't we learn to get government out of education and health care, and every other endeavor, as government intervention and easy money simply leads to misuse of resources and higher prices. The free market system is the only answer to costs.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    July 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  22. Scott in Bellingham

    Yes higher education is more and more cost prohibitive as ivory tower elites think their worth is greater and greater and are getting their wishes. Professors believe their worth is at least double that of White House staff whose average salary is $82,300 plus about $45,000 in benefits plus an 8% annual raise.

    Oh, and Surgeons get $1000 per hour which weighs on Professor thinking as they are the people training the surgeons.

    Taxes and student tuitions must pay for all, however low to no interest federal grants and student loans make accessible a higher education for nearly everybody which will introduce more and more graduates into a saturated job market, saddled with massive debt.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  23. Gary H. Boyd

    BECOMING prohibitive Jack, you gotta be kidding. It BECAME prohibitive years ago. Just ask any college graduate who's still in hock for a college degree earned years ago. BECOMING prohibitive Jack, - you gotta be living under a flat rock.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  24. Ralph Spyer

    No the cost of education is becoming prohibitive,when 20 % of our school children can not speak English, when 20 % of our school children fathers are in jail, when 20 % of our school children have a good chance of getting killed go to,or leaving school.When 20% of the parents have never read or work on home work with their child. That only gives us 20% that will pay taxes and find a good paying job.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  25. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack a good education has always been expensive in America. Even if you were lucky enough to get a scholarship someone had to fund it. Getting a 4 year degree is no guarantee of a good paying job or stability. It simply means you attended school for 4 years. In an uncertain economy a two year degree may be all you need and if the unemployment rate stays high that may not guarantee you a job either. When people are having to settle for Jobs at McDonalds even with a college education under their belt it might be better to hang on to the money you would have spent on college anmd use it to buy the gas to get you to work cooking fries.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  26. Brad, Portland, OR

    There are a lot of kids with fresh college degrees and tens of thousands of dollars in tuition debt, waiting tables, who would say that college wasn't worth it.

    In the old days, a college degree was a ticket to a good middle class life, so it was worth taking on the debt to have a better future.

    Nowadays, with outsourcing, "free trade," and the "global economy," there's somebody in Bangalore who can do what you can do for 30 cents an hour. So why would a company hire you instead?

    You're better off becoming a plumber than going to college. They can't outsource that.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  27. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Yes, as the government at all levels cut support for education. How will we ever compete in the Information Age when even community colleges are raising their tuition? Ever see the movie Idiocracy, Jack?

    July 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  28. Roger from Albion PA

    It's still cheaper than the high cost of not being educated.

    July 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  29. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    absolutely the cost is prohibitive for many and the lack of job opportunities available even once you obtain an overly expensive degree, makes the situation worse. Studying in a field of cutting edge technology or outright nepotism seems to be one's best hopes for success.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  30. Kim Smith

    The cost of any education is prohibitive. School districts are folding up their operations at an alarming rate, a true sign that the killing off of the middle class is becoming a huge success for the Republicans.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Charles Potter

    Define "higher education". The majority of college graduates end up in careers that are totaly unrelated to what they have degrees for. In many cases the money spent for a "higher education" would be best spent at a technical school learning a trade or profession that would put the student on the path to earning a good living doing something that they enjoy doing.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  32. David Gerstenfeld

    Jack, it already is prohibitive to get a degree at most colleges & universities. There are far to many tenured professors making in excess of $200,000. & teaching one class. They're paid to publish not teach which rarely does anything to further education or the schools presteige. It does, however, increase the costs for those who want a college education.
    David, Las Vegas

    July 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  33. Kevin SD CA

    It's not the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive; it's the cost of paying educated idiots to fail at their positions of academia, and still want to retire on fat pensions and entitlement packages!

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |

    Yes. A college education is not what it used to be. Do you know how many Colledge kids work at Mc Donalds? I don't mean while they are going to college, I mean after they get there degree. There are no jobs out there.
    As far as the cost of higher education, only the rich can really afford it without sweating it.
    The middle class can afford it if they mortgage thier house maybe and live on macaroni and cheese, and the poor, well I don't have to comment on that.
    You know Jack, it seems alot of your questions can be answered with the same answer. The rich prevail, period, and the unfortunate thing is it seems that the people who can fix the problem are rich.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  35. Peter Bonafonte, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    When to cost of a degree can equal or exceed the cost of a new house then yes it's prohibitive.

    The cost of a degree should not be greater then the average starting salary for a position that uses that degree. The amount of the payments and the years making them put college grads in a position where they can...

    buy a new car or

    buy a house or

    get married and have a family or

    payoff their student loans.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  36. Nate NC

    Of course. As a college student myself, I feel like I am in China being told what courses to take and what to focus on for my future career. Higher costs have forced many schools to cut so many courses, that both the school and the students are beginning to lose their identity and individuality. I mean people are staying in college longer by waiting for a course they need to take to open, that satisfies their curriculum, but only opens once every other semester.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  37. Denny from Tacoma

    When you consider that with our current economy and unemployment, a current graduate will be ready for social security retirement (if there is any) when he finishes paying off his or her student loan, I think the cost of higher education is becoming prohibitive.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  38. Tom (Atlanta)

    Imagine if all universities were public companies that paid dividends to stock holders. We could buy stock in the companies, and based on the rate of increase of their income I suspect that provided their income exceed their cost of operation, dividends would increase nicely as well as the stock price. Sounds like that would be a good investment; don't you think? And, given the expanding need for such institutions might there not be investment capital available for more institutions? Would this not moderate the rapidly increasing cost? You're right Jack something is needed here.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  39. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Yes, just like everything else!! When you have to subsidize the income of 14-22 million unemployed with unemployment benefits far beyond what they have paid into it which added up to over $100B just for the last round not including interest, food assistance, school food programs and other social services, states lose even more sales and payroll taxes because they are not working and unable to spend like they use to, states and the federal government are not able to help colleges so they raise prices to make up the difference. Roll all of that up and see why it is important to make sure jobs go to our unemployed, not illegals!!

    Yorktown VA

    July 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  40. Donald in New Mexico

    The cost of not getting a collage education is to be doomed to poverty,hard labor and owing your sole to the company store. If the next generation is going to be paying our debt, they need all the help we can give. Education in the U.S. should be mandatory from pre-K to grade 16. The cost of a B.A. degree needs to be subsidized. Pay for it by staying out of wars, sell off the Empire of military bases overseas and get business to help train the workforce they make their living off of. The rich benefit from our infrastructure and labor. They should step up and do the right thing and pay for the assets they use to make their fortunes. They can't afford not to. The rich don't need subsidies or tax breaks. Why do we give any tax breaks to those that have it all?

    July 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  41. Ronda (from Canastota, NY)

    Only if your parents don't have the ready cash every semester to keep you in college and pay your bills for the length of time it takes for you to get your degree. Other than that...piece of cake! 🙂

    July 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  42. Tony from Southport

    It's not the cost of higher education that's becoming prohibitive.... it's the cost of paying bad teachers to continue teaching, and giving them retirement plans that are worth more than what most people can make in a year.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  43. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Yes. Soon students will have to have jobs first and have the employer pay their tuition in exchange for a service requirement.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  44. Judy

    It won't matter anyway Jack, the only kids who will be able to afford to go to college will be the top 1% of our populace in the next 10 years. Apparently the now do nothing congress thinks it's ok to cut education while providing huge tax breaks for our wealthiest citizens. Can't imagine how that could be a problem!

    July 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  45. Gerry

    My daughter has a Masters and and is pursuing a Doctorate. In applying for a doctorate program she was informed that the costs are in the neighborhood of $30K. Considering that she is still paying on her student loans for her Masters the Doctorate would mean that she would be paying student loans until she was eligible for Social Security if its still in existence. I'd say a Doctorate in her field is priced out of the market and the return on investment is questionable.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  46. Eve of Texas

    Yes and it doesn't have to be. All the second- and third-tier schools want to run with the big dogs and so they adopt the "publish or perish" rules, which is so antiquated and unrealistic. They want to get in a higher sports league and change their name, thinking it will make them "more prestigeous." Why not just be a good teaching school? No glory for the presidents and overloaded administrators. Some things never change and that's just the tip of the iceberg.. Former professor, Eve of Texas

    July 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Gigi Oregon

    How else are the Republican Elite going to keep the middle class out...of higher education.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Joe

    We are on the verge of another two-class society. The cost of an higher education is much too high. Schools have become greedy businesses, not to mention the blatant deception of so called Institutes who charge more than accredited Universities. Such as here in NY State a local institute charges more than $16K per year; yet, SUNY is less than half the cost.
    Loans are impossible to pay-off with fewer decent paying jobs. Universities need to have a direct link for more than just internships, there needs to be a promise from employers that if graduating students meet certain requirements, then they will hire these students; because, otherwise, our graduating students are just living at home, or are using family contacts to gain the same jobs they would have had without going to school.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    July 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  49. diridi

    Jack, all these universities are robbing the kids. They are becoming greedy and greedy. No wonder, even if a kid is graduating from Harvard, Duke, or Yale finding no job. I know my nephew. Ok, True, true. Why do kids need political science as a requirement in order to graduate for Science. If you go to community college, get hands on training with computer science, you have more chances of getting a job. I know, lot of teachers are working for Sears, or Toys r' us. No jobs even they graduate. I don't know where this nation is going. I am not finding fault with Obama. It is greed, greed, and greed, that is hurting this nation than ever before. Greed needs to be driven out of this nation.....

    July 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  50. Joe

    Schools have become BIG BUSINESS. Try to apply for a school and find layers and layers of unnecessary employees sitting, posturing, and not finding their graduates decent employment; therefore, the cost of a higher education is only going to be for the wealthy. What year did we say this is .... 1911?

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    July 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  51. marybeth in massachusetts


    Yes, the cost of a college education is becoming prohibitive, but only if you are in the soon-to-disappear middle class and lower class. If you are in wealthy, then with all that money you've saved from the Bush tax cuts plus all of the tax loopholes, you can easily afford college.

    As college costs become more prohibitive, fewer kids will go to college. Wal-mart jobs as greeters and cashiers, McDonald's jobs flipping burgers don't require a college degree. But if you want to become a doctor, a lawyer, a pharmacist, an engineer, a teacher, then you'll have to go into debt the equivalent of a mortgage to get a degree.

    I've heard that college is new high school, necessitating a master's degree to get a professional job that pays a living wage, which means more debt unless you're among the uber-rich.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  52. Kevin in CA

    Of coarse it is ...just the way the neocon's want – available only to the rich ruling class.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  53. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Not if you are a student that has prospered with great grades and has focused through high school and have visions of where your going. Not if you have awards given at your high school graduation and you have worked hard. Not even a single poor Momma can hold back the best of the best. BUT if scholarships didn't exist it would be prohibitive.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  54. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes it already is prohibitive. Only the wealthy will be able to afford an education therefore eliminating the middle class and increasing the divide between the "Haves" and "Have Nots." Wasn't this ultimately the Plan anyway?

    July 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  55. Scott Stodden

    All I Want To Know Is How Do We Expect Kids To Further Their Education And Become Somebody When Parents Can't Afford To Send Their Kids To College. These Colleges Don't Have To Charge The Amount They Do, Who Can Afford Yearly Tuition Of $50,000 A Year That's Crazy. We Expect Our Kids To All Be Productive And Great Citizens Of This Country But We Can't Afford To Send Our Kids To Good Productive Colleges And Universities! Something Is Definetly Wrong With This Picture!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    July 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  56. cal

    All of our kids should be given the best education. No one but USA people not the non USA people.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  57. Lori - PA


    Yes it is. Especially when the job situation is so bad. Those that have, or will be, graduated from high school, and have no type of college scholarship or grant, have to be wondering if it's worth it to go to get a higher education when there won't be a job ready and waiting once they have their degree in hand.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  58. Jeff In Minnesota

    Like it or not, education is a people intensive process. No matter how much we try to automate it, people learn better when they interact with other people. But even without computer based training, education has become a very technology intensive process. I've always wondered if all of that technology is really necessary or just to entice people to continue the education process. Just another area that needs to be looked at to determine what is to be done.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  59. Karl in Flint

    For the taxed common people, yes. For the non-taxed wealthy, no. Isn't that the name of the game now? The rich and greedy have taken everything else from the middle class, why should it bother their non-conscience to take a college education from them, too? That way business will always be run by the proper people. God forbid one of THEM actually succeed.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  60. Kevin in CA

    Yes, that's right. Keep 'em dumb, less problems for the one percenter's that way.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  61. Ken in NC

    Yes it is becoming prohibitive Jack but it's the only way to insure an uneducated ignorant cheap work force. The Agenda of Big Business is hard at work here.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  62. Joseph Leff

    It's no problem getting an education, Jack. I speak large English because I've been living here much time.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    July 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  63. Employee

    I work for a University and the amount of people that end up in College on America's dime through Pell Grant programs is sickening. There are so many students with mounting debt that truly want to learn and better themselves while I watch these kids waiting at the mailbox for their refund check to go and blow and do poorly in school that it makes me sick.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  64. Jamie

    Of course higher education is too highly priced. Jobs and promotions are still based on who you know rather than what you know. So, having an education means you are a threat to your less educated boss. This correlates to less money to pay back education which already costs more than it should.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  65. terrafirma

    It is so long as we have an expectataion of receiving a degree in four years. Many students-young and not so young-have worked their way through college over a period of many years. Although I would love to see tuition at a more reasonable level, higher education is still attainable to those who pursue their dreams with dogged determination.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  66. Mary Beth

    The costs are outrageous and the lack of quality of programs is equally so. As a nation, we are falling farther and farther behind in graduating qualified candidates in most areas of learning. As with all other things, we are paying higher prices for less and less.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  67. Jim TX

    Two thoughts come to mind: 1. Democracy only works with an educated population. 2. The uneducated are easy to control.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  68. Dr. Garry

    Not only is the cost too high, but the quality is dropping fast. According to my research, average students in average Chinese universities are speaking ENGLISH better than average American students in average American universities. We already say we are behind in scienmce, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but what happens when even our English lags behind?

    July 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  69. Frank Liao

    Yes, because we've become an economy based on industries that need highly educated people: technology, financial services, etc. We're only as good as our workforce and we should make it much easier than it is today for people to educate themselves and compete globally.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  70. Jarrod Rager

    It certainly is! If a university is public it should be run like, and scrutinized as, a non-profit organization. Universities inflating prices without oversight is a sure way to let them treat education like something it isn't – a commodity.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  71. Nardo Cape Coral FL

    becoming prohibitive? I would first rephrase that to "has become prohibitive" 20 yrs ago media was addressing this very question, when the cost of higher education out paces the salaries earnings by most graduates, where's the benefit, I wonder if this has anything to do with United States falling behind on world platform?

    July 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  72. mizzdirekt

    Of course it is...it's asking 18 yr. old kids to buy a new car every year they attend. It's not really about higher education though is it? students don't go to learn, they hope to be able to get a job; and the university isn't interested in educating, it's more interested in turning a profit. You can't teach someone the ins and outs of calculus in a few weeks. The system is money driven, and that isn't good when it comes to education.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  73. EU Immigrant

    Yes, cost of education, text books, dorm etc is much too high. Also, it is dangerous; only in this year three students were killed by illegals (robbers and drug dealers) on ASU campus. We are looking to return back to Europe soon.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  74. Steve

    I don't think higher ed is that expensive. Public Universities and junior colleges are still a steal in California because the price is low and the quality is high. The only schools that really charge more are the Harvards, Yales, and Stanfords which seem to be a waste of money anymore because you won't get a job unless one of the rich relatives can hire you. However, nothing was a good as I got at the Univ. of Illinois. As a vet, I got free tuition. All I had to do was pay my $10 student fees.

    July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  75. Pete

    Sure. That's why you have to be careful about the college you choose to enroll in and what type of program you enter. If you're going into a low or mid-range paying field- it doesn't pay to go to the most expensive college!
    I went to an less-expensive state college- many of my co-workers went to much more expensive private universities...we make the same pay!!

    July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  76. Dave Hart

    Sure, it costs a lot more, but honestly, it's worth 100k to get my kid a degree, from a simple competitive standpoint. What's 100k over 40 years or so, 1,400 per year. I imagine his/her degree will earn him/her more than that per year. Assuming he works for 40 years. Or at least I hope so.

    Dave Hart

    July 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  77. cbr

    The cost of higher education continues to grow. There is a great competitive nature among some schools and instead of working together, each school feels the need to reinvent the wheel.

    For those who are not in the higher financial brackets there is a good alternative to the pricey schools. Most states have two year colleges which charge significantly less. Graduate with an associates degree and move on for a BA or BS.

    If you look at all your options you will find the most cost effective college plan for yourself or for your child.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  78. Paul NYC

    One can be educated without a degree but unfortunately the track to a good paying career is often through the debt acquired to be given a piece of paper. If a person's goal is to be educated, then I say they should read as much as possible. I guarantee you that you'll be quite educated and in a much cheaper way than going to college.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  79. Mike

    Well considering the meteoric rise of tuition costs over the last decade or so coupled with the unemployment (and more importantly underemployment) rate I would say that the return on investment (both in time and money) has been substantially reduced. Ask any recent law school grad if they love their 15.00 an hour temporary job reviewing documents or any MBA that's waiting tables at Outback Steakhouse to keep the lights on.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  80. Fox News

    Yes. Especially private or non-state schools. Who wants to be $200 K in debt and getting offers for $40k jobs after graduation? No thanks.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  81. Publius

    When government loans guarantee that there is no such thing as a person who cannot afford college (or ridiculously bad trade schools and online schools, for that matter), why is it any surprise that the price goes up? The problem is not that too MANY people can afford college – not that there aren't enough who can. This also leads to kids being saddled with absurd amounts of student debt right at the beginning of their lives, which in turn leads to high default rates. Student loans are a great example of a government program that meant well actually making the situation worse.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  82. Midwest Guy

    It's about return on investment. Trickle down economics is working well– the money from the wealthiest American entities is trickling to the globally poorest regions. That path does not pass through the American middle class - the middle class is an un-necessary artifact of the 20th century. Hence, a dearth of jobs sufficient to make the return on dollars spent at a college or university exists and will only continue. Thus, the conservative agenda proceeds as intended. Next up, vouchers for secondary school which can be eroded with inflation until the effective cost for public education can be reduced. Educating kids in the US above the level of the world mean does not support the conservative agenda.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  83. Sandstone.

    "Didn't have time for your first one, Jack. Curtain Fixing! As for this one, I think I answered it a few months back. Kid's can still go to College and get enough information, the rest is all over the internet! As for Universities, I think it should be more on a scholarship position. Why kids waste their time in Universities, if all they do is fail beats me? By scholarships, the states would have to back them, or lose those kids to other countries; then you really will be in trouble because they will be the best you have!"

    July 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  84. Roland

    Gee that's a tough question Jack... does cutting off your own leg with a chainsaw hurt?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  85. Publius

    Oops. Comment should read, "The problem is that too MANY people can afford college . . ."

    July 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  86. Frank

    Sad view, however I like the fact that it's becoming "prohibitive" and costly for students. I am close to obtaining my MBA and this will just reduce the amount of competition in the field. With the current economic slump, that's all I can hope for.

    Sorry, someone had to play the devil's advocate. 🙂

    July 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Tofique R

    Yes, by closing doors of education..we can always keep the poor, poor...thus, rich richer..

    July 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  88. Brendan

    I just graduated from a Duquesne University. It is a private catholic school in Pittsburgh. I had scholarships for athletics and some other grants..but after 4 years I am still about 40k in debt because of loans. I have a good job, but considering I did not need a college education to even get this job I find that college was a waste of time and money. Now I am struggling to pay off my loans and live a normal life...and for what? A piece of paper? Not worth it...

    July 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  89. Eneg

    If you believe that College/University is only possible by driving to a classroom or else living on campus and going to classes daily – then you've chosen to follow a business model that is hundreds of years old and desperately needs to be updated. It's the 21st Century.

    The cost of building upkeep, teachers & staff wages, etc are getting to the point of being atrocious – and yet they demand more and more. It's time for a business model change such as that offered by WGU. WGU is fully accredited and is online ONLY. For $3000-$4000 every 6 months you can take ~12-24 Credits. That breaks out to ~$500+ per month. Whether you can work the whole time to pay it off, pay it from savings, or even take a loan, you're not going to drown in debt once you graduate. Moreover, they take all the typical grants, etc and if you decide to move on to an out-dated University with an out-dated business model – you can do so since the Credits have the typical transferability that any accredited College/University would have.

    It's time the public wakes up and realises that when costs are prohibitive, then you find a better solution. Relying upon a solution that is proving more and more to be a failure without looking at other options is not wise. If people are willing to pay horrendous amounts of money to get a degree, then they get what they deserve when they graduate and drown in debt.

    Perhaps it's not the fault of Reps or Dems (or even Unions) but perhaps it's the fault of people who will continue to pay Colleges/Universities to support a very out-dated business model. Maybe the change required should come from those Colleges/Universities instead of Gov't, in their business model. It's not the Gov't responsibility to pay for higher education; it's the individuals and if they aren't willing to look around for viable options, then it's their loss and their own money they are wasting.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  90. Mr. D

    The bubble broke in housing. When will the bubble break in education and health care? Just like the housing crash, too many people expecting government to provide higher education and unlimited health care. We as a nation can no longer deliver on all the promises of the past.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  91. chabert

    Yes, higher education is grossly overpriced because the value of prestige schools has been overrated, and these schools charge what the market will bear. These schools will claim they are not making a "profit", but they are squandering money in excessive bureaucracies, in unnecessarily luxurious buildings, and on faculty who teach way too little and publish way too much trivia no one reads, while they increase tuition at more than double the rate of general inflation.

    But let these colleges and universities charge whatever they want: the public is starting to realize most of them are overpriced for what they deliver, and are increasingly starting off at junior colleges or less expensive state colleges – or else are going to career-oriented for-profit schools.

    Right now employers hire people from top schools simply because their college is an indication the applicant was smart enough to get in. Encourage employers, without threat of legal action, to use the same screening system: SAT scores, high school grades, extracurricular activities: they would get the same information and it would cost a whole lot less.

    There is not much good reason for students to begin college immediately after high school. Most students are not mature or disciplined enough to get the full benefit of college without some real world experience. Let them join the military for a year or two first, or volunteer as a tutor to younger children, or work in construction or other trades that have to import illegal immigrants to fill the demand.

    And if you want a liberal arts education, you can do a good job educating yourself by reading – for free.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  92. AQH

    It's hard to compare costs now to costs 30 and 40 years ago. My 5 year college education cost $11,000, graduating in 1970. I went into the jewelry business in 1970, and in 1981 sold an E flawless diamond to someone for $17,000. I just priced the same diamond, $370,000. Gold was $32/ounce when I started jewelry, it is now $1500/ounce. I think an education that cost $10,000 30 years ago and now cost $55,000 is not out of line with other current costs, and actually is a better deal in some respects that the increase in costs of other goods and services. There are not many that can boast only a 5 times increase over the last 30 years. When it comes to the jobs available to graduates, well, I didn't graduate with a degree in jewelry.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  93. Justin

    The cost of a college degree is outrageous! For some its unattainable. If you make above a certain amount of money annually you're automaticcaly expected to be able to pay for it all out of pocket and subsequently denied any and all financial aid options. If you make too little, once you graduate you're in debt for the next 25 years. College should be a commodity available to everyone who wishes to better themselves through intellect and experience.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  94. david

    As a grad student, who will be walking out with both a PhD and $80,000 debt (no help from my family), I answer a resounding yes. Will it be worth it to work in the field of my dreams? Sure. But will I be looking overseas for jobs? Yep. Why? Better pay. Period.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  95. Anon

    I graduated #7 in my high school class of over 500 and did not qualify for a single scholarship to college (I am caucasion so I'm discounted immediately in an area consisting mainly of minorities). One of the most major problems in our education system is the racial segregation that has forced race to become more important than intelligence with regards to acceptance into college and scholarship programs. I've been out of college for 4 years now and still owe over $50,000 in student loans that I likely will be paying on for the next 30 years of my life. Not only was the degree not worth the money, I am not making any more in salary now than if I had simply starting working full time out of high school. I excel at every job I've ever had and would have been doing very well for myself in accounting without a degree, the extra $5k a year is not even covering payments on my student loans. At some point, the country needs to accept that ALL of the best and brightest should get to attend college for free as this is the only way to improve the status of the country. Currently the best are brightest can't afford college yet the moron children of rich parents can get a doctorate. This will kill the country.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  96. Dzuy, Austin TX

    Yes, the cost of college education is getting to be prohibitive.

    However, you can't argue the value of a college degree, especially for professionals such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc. Generally, no matter what degree, there is a difference in intellectual between a college graduate and a non-college graduate. In order to be a world leader, our nation needs to be more educated.

    There are many factors that cause the skyrocketing cost of a college education. One of those factors supply and demand. Back in my parent's day, you didn't really need a college degree to get a good job. With advancing technology, it requires a steeper learning curve, hence a college degree is almost a minimum, so more people will have to enroll in college. In my generation, we're lucky to have one or two in the family to attend college. My kids' generation, I expect nothing less from all of them.

    With that being said, something must be done about our college tuition before it affects the education level of our population. If more and more Americans think that college is not for them, we will see more and more foreign students filling our college classrooms. And they do pay even more than our American born citizens.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  97. DC Grad

    No, I don't think it is prohibitive. I graduated with a BS in 2010 with over $100,000 in student loans. But you know what? Having a college degree from a good university has helped me get a very good job that I otherwise would never have been qualified for. I come from a middle class family (hence the loans), but there are ways to pay for the inflated price of higher education.

    I agree that higher education is more expensive than it should be, but I'm tired of people complaining that it is prohibitive or not worth it, because it is. There are ways to pay for it–including loans; and if loans don't work (for whatever reason), maybe you just need to think creatively. The complainers probably just don't realize the benefits of a college education now.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  98. John

    Is the rising cost prohibitive? Definitely not. Neither was the rising cost of homes in 2007. Buyer beware.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  99. JeramieH

    > Is the cost of higher education becoming prohibitive?


    We already have degree-requiring jobs that don't pay the cost of the education over their lifetime.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  100. Carolyn in Colordao

    Yes, higher education costs have sky rocketed over recent history. The level of national debt for college loans is horrifying. However, there are more affordable options for higher education, such as community colleges, that do not require an individual to take out loans for tens of thousands of dollars. It is as much of a problem related to consumer choice as it is one connected with institutional prices.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  101. will

    one word....YES

    July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  102. Jim R

    The cost of an education became prohibitive when greed took a foothold in the ranks of higher-education board members. Higher-ed is now just another business striving to make 6%+ growth quarter over quarter. I say we put George Washington's vision of a National University into practice... If tax funding works for K-12... why not higher ed? That's one thing you can raise my taxes for!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  103. Bangor

    What are Asian countries paying to educate their kids for the same education our kids should be getting? They are making leaps and bounds passed us in so many areas. Are they going into beyond a lifetime of debt?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  104. chris shotwell

    no dah!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  105. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Oh come on Jack.. Even you know one of the largest job employers last year in America was McDonalds the other WalMart. It does not take a college degree to get promoted to fries or yell, "Clean up on isle 12." For the jobs that are available in America college is not a requirement.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  106. Aaron

    As a disabled vet might i make the suggestion of military service for those who want to go to college? It's a learning experience that has benefits far reaching and teaches kids a lot about the world and about themselves.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  107. Jamie, Tacoma WA

    When I entered college in CA 50 years ago it was virtually free except for the cost of books. Now we are talking burdens of thousands. When a nation fails to educate it's youth, it is doomed to failure. Are CEO wages and bonuses worth destroying a nation?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  108. Cat in MI

    Absolutely! I have 2 degrees, a Bachelor or Arts and an Assocates of Applied Science. I paid for my schooling and have no educational debt, but there are still no jobs, regardless. When I am asked whether my time and money were well spent, I can't say they were. Sure, it was interesting and learning is fun, but pointless. I'm an overeducated worker struggling for whatever jobs are out there.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  109. Scott in Dallas

    It isn't becoming prohibitive. It has been prohibitive for some time. It is becoming a gamble. It used to be a known value for a known cost. A cost many people already couldn't afford. Now it is an increased cost for an uncertain value. Just legalizing gambling may be an equitable option.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  110. Frank A

    Education has turned to another avenue of expliotation.We have to start questioning the real value of a college education.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  111. Brittany

    YESS!!! I am 21 years old and am paying thousands and thousands of dollars to go to school. I am an elementary education major in Nevada and our governor keeps cutting the budget for not only higher education, but k- 12 education as well. He is the most recent in a long line of horrible, horrible governors!!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  112. Beth Hancock

    My former boss had this sign on his door. "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance". I think that says it all.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  113. Jimbo24

    I went to a private Law School and am drowning in debt. I get most of my work appointed from the state of Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin ran out of money and has not paid me the thousands of dollars it owes me since April. Overall, I feel like I would have a higher net worth and a more stable career if I started working at McDonald's right out of highschool.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  114. Robert Weintraub

    Education is more important than anything else! Jobs are attracted to states with good education. Education, if it is quality, can never be too costly. Well educated people will help the U.S. compete with the rest of the world. Well educated people are our future. We must sacrifice everything else to educate our young people!

    R. Weintraub, Amelia Island, Florida

    July 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  115. Nick Vandekar

    We need to realize college is not for everybody. Secondly to make money or enjoy life you don't need to go to college. So you can save several thousand dollars

    July 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  116. Trecia

    If its the Key then why isn't it free.....unfortunately, this is the easiest way to allow a retention of a small upper class. This is just American society maintaining a status quo. Sadly, the idea of America offering the lower socioeconomic class the opportunities to pull themselves up from their bootstraps are no longer. As a teacher and college mentor, I help get my student college scholarships to Ivy League level schools but my own son is not even offered financial aid, because my "teachers salary" is too high....as a result he is now in a community college trying to defer the cost.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  117. Barbara

    Yes, expenses are becoming prohibitive. I would like to attend grad school in order to better my chances at finding employment within my career choice but cannot afford it at this point.

    It is sad that education is often the first to experience cuts. We can only improve society by educating its members.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  118. Vicky Taylor

    Absolutely. My son graduated over a year ago with $50,000 in student loan debt and still can't find a job that pays well enough to make loan payments and still be able to live a reasonable, comfortable life. Condemned to a decade of barely getting by for an education that so far hasn't benefitted him much. As part of America's middle class, our family is still looking for that promised change.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  119. Brian Ahearn

    Maybe we are offering more than we can afford at colleges. Your comment that federal funds are drying up is an easy way out. Why should my money, a taxpayer, pay for someone else's kid? I paid for mine without government help.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  120. Jim C.

    Having three kids @ 16,14 and 8 means college is right around the corner... the higher costs of a college education scare the heck out me when I already feel as though I am living check to check. However, honestly, I will still push my kids to achieve the best possible grades so that perhaps they can share in the dwindling number of scholarships available and ease the financial burden we (my kids and I) will feel when paying back those college loans.
    In my family, not going to college is not an option so like many other parents I will somehow 'make it work'.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  121. Don Catona


    One solution to reduce the cost of higher education would be for colleges to become more efficient at delivering education. Examples can include getting more productivity out of professors, particularly tenured ones who teach only a few hours per week at full salary, using technology more effective and so forth. There are ample opportunities to make the delivery of higher education more efficient. The colleges just need to recognize that their is a limit on there ability to pass through higher costs... sounds like running a business.


    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  122. Howie76

    Colleges and universities need to go back to academic degrees and the vocational degrees should be at less expensive vocational schools. Vocational degrees like nursing, business degrees and so on.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  123. Robert Weintraub

    In 1952 a college education was too costly for my father. He found a way. In the 1960s, a college education for my children was too costly for me. I found a way. Anything worthwhile is costly. The resourceful will find a way.

    Bob Weintraub, Fernandina Florida

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  124. Bruce Baca

    It seems to me that what is occuring is that higher education will once again become the province of the wealthy as it was prior to WWII and the GI BIll. Are we re-entering the Gatsby age?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  125. Etienne

    It's been prohibitive for some time now. We just didn't know and burried ouselves in debt till we realized how much we had to pay back!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  126. Jack

    The costs are ridiculous for a public institution. When you have prices so high that people go thousands in debt just to attend a public school, you know you're in trouble. Say what you will, but an educated populace is good for America. Let's not shoot ourselves in the foot. At a critical time like this when the rest of the world catches up to our advances, our students are falling behind more and more. We should be investing more in education, not less. Sure, you have a ridiculously high debt and deficit and you can try to take care of that by slashing education. But if you do – who will take care of the same problems 40 years down the line? With income disparities between the classes exacerbating and the price of education skyrocketing, America is setting the stage for a class war. Land of equality, anyone?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  127. Anthony (Dallas)

    Jack, Yes, of course the cost of higher education is absolutely becoming prohibitive. I am currently forced to pay out of pocket and I have no money, which means no school. I qualify for financial aid, and government grants BUT because I currently have unpaid school loans, our federal government refuses to give me any money FOR SCHOOL until I pay off my loans.So now I'm forced to take a class or two at a time. Something seriously needs to be done about the cost of higher education. It's extremely frustrating to get an education, which is not good for the future of this country.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  128. Tim Davidson


    I have one in college and one just finished. Costs are out of control and there are no jobs for them to look forward to. Pretty sure the $5 billion shortfall for college funding can be paid for by pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, in just two weeks! Aren't we spending $10 billion per month to wage this war? Bring them home and let them patrol our borders, protect our forest lands and fight fires, and work for our fish and game departments. That alone will solve many of our financial problems and allow our kids to have an affordable education.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  129. M.V. Ranganath

    Yes. The cost of college education is beocoming extremely expensive. I think that education is a fundamental need and must be made available to all who desire and it should be affordable. There should be some control on the expense in running colleges and be rational in how much to charge a student (and/or parents) for the college education. Alternate maens of funding education should be explored and implemented.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  130. Peter Miller

    We face the same situation in Canada – and have done so for several, if not many years.
    My solution is to ask those who have made millions, sometimes billions in their professions to kick something back to help those wanting to enter the professions, and working hard at schools, colleges and universities to lower their graduation debt. Apparently those who have been incredibly successful feel that they haven't made enough money to be generous to students.
    Which begs the question of the successful people in this life – how much is enough?
    Seems like nothing is enough – debt is killing our future!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  131. Gary Lee

    Jack, NO. College has always been expensive. I remember my days when college fees were $15/credit. In 1969, that was expensive (I paid every penny of my college costs). It should always be "expensive" else a college degree won't be worth anything. Even now a 4-yr degree doesn't have the clout it once did. Gotta have at least a Masters now. College should never be "for the masses." These colleges and universities should remain "available" to anyone who wants to apply and can afford it.

    I worked full time while attending full time. What ever happend to that method of "going to school?" If you want to go to school bad enough, you will find a way to attend/pay for it.

    Again, NO, college will always be "too expensive." If Rolls-Royce lowered its price to $50,000, would a Rolls-Royce be the car to earn? NO.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  132. G E J

    When costs exceed inflation then it comes to plain old fashioned greed. The ultra-liberal professors have a lock on higher education. They make the rules and they like them.

    It will take nothing short of a full-scale public revolt against education before change will take place. Unfortunately, we're being sold a bill of goods in that we are being told more money is the answer to better education.

    Blame Berkeley, it all started there in 1964. The scholastic standards have been declining since while the costs have spiraled. What's wrong with this picture?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  133. Michael from Dallas

    Absolutely. The first time I went to a local community college in 1993, I paid about $23 for nine credit hours. Now that would cost over $400. Today education is becoming more and more critical to economic success. Not simply to individuals who must acquire the skills needed to be competitive as they leave high school, or get laid off from jobs being shipped to our foreign competitors, but to our economy as a whole. The student who cannot afford a university education today, could have been the doctor who discovered the cure for cancer in the future. Is it really wise to raise the cost of education further when business already have trouble finding people with the needed skills, despite near record unemployment.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  134. Roger from Phoenix

    Oh for chirst sakesJack quit whinning , all they have to do is take out a government school loan go to college get a degree and when they get out go to work at McDonalds. It's the perfect American dream. Seems anything the government gets involved in prices go thur the roof.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  135. Brad Rankin

    Talking about percentages going up, here's one for you. How about 53%! No thats not a typo. I'm halfway through my program and my tuition will be 53% higher this fall. Select programs have been chosen to only receive HALF of their previous funding / credits. When you add that with the school tuition increase of 3%... VOILA! Oh, whats my program? Air Traffic Control. Eye opener? You could say that.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  136. Joanna

    We've foregone vacations, new cars, dining out, new clothes, and new furniture for 22 years in order to save up - about 40K each kid, in a 529 fund. Our children will all graduate without any debt (they are working) but its been a huge sacrifice for us all. Being well educated has benefits beyond the instant gratification of a job, but you have to plan ahead, be discplined, and not insist on some Ivy league name when hundreds of other schools are doing just as good a job.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  137. Leslie, Akron, OH

    It is! As a person with a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration, access and affordability are two of the three biggest issues facing higher education right now, academic retention being the third. Tuition and fees have gone up every single year since the end of the 1990s because of declining economic bases, layoffs, lower tax revenues, and more pressure from alumni and external stakeholders to donate more to the operating budgets. Additionally, more and more GOP-controlled legislatures along with governors from both parties are using our young people as a political football for future elections, especially 2012 and 2014. Politicians are making it harder for students and their families to pay for the chance at a college education and a better life for themselves.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  138. cherie mortice des moines, iowa

    We are continuing on a destructive path of pricing our children out of an education. How can we possibly complete in a global market if students find it impossible to afford an education or end up with a lingering debt that leaves few dollars to spend. Is it any wonder we talk to people from a dozen other countries everytime we need technical support?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  139. GnatB

    Presumably it's all supply and demand. If the demand keeps driving the prices up, eventually there won't be enough "college educated" employees to go around, and employers that currently require college degrees for jobs that don't actually benefit from having a college degree will stop requiring it, and demand will go down, and thus prices will.

    What I take issue with is how many jobs require "college degrees" that don't, in any way, actually require college degrees. (other than many companies use said education status to explain away hourly vs. salary, and hourly tends to be more expensive as you attempt to do the same work with fewer employees...)

    July 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  140. Linda in Arizona

    Of course it is, and it's deliberate. The more undereducated the populace, the more cheap labor and cannon fodder is available for the über rich corporate elite who run this country and the world. Soon higher education will be reserved exclusively for the children of the ruling class.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  141. Alexander

    Its obvious that our higher education system has become prohibitive. This not only strains the middle class, but forces the university to employ more business-like practices as well. When universities instruct their professors to prioritize federal grants over classroom quality and force their students to seek higher Federal Loans to fill their coffers, all you have left: an overpriced, under-instructed and painful education. Is this the America we dream of? Go Broncos.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  142. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Some of the richest Americans used innovation instead of a higher education to achieve their wealth. There are more ways to suceed in life without going into by just thinking outside the box.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  143. R. Newton Pippin

    I was keen to hear your report on the rising cost of higher education in the United States. It also may be advisable to report on the cost of medical care in that same period. The brain (and body) are necessary for knowledge, but they are not sufficient.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  144. Rob in NJ

    Yes, unfortunately. Add universities to the list of bubbles created by government subsidies. The ease of acquiring student loans allows almost anyone access to enough credit to completely bury themselves in debt before they even set foot in the job market. Education is a business and as long as their customers have easy access to obtain grants and huge loans, the universities will continue to raise their prices.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  145. April

    I can guarantee you that faculty salaries have NOT gone up with rising tuition. In some cases, college faculty have taken pay cuts. In many more cases, their salaries haven't budged for several years (many universities do not give cost of living raises), while health insurance costs go up. Meanwhile, class sizes go up, and more courses are taught by part timers who are paid even more poorly than the full timers and have no job security or benefits.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  146. JeramieH

    I'm unclear on why an education is so expensive. There's teachers, support staff, and classrooms. We're not building stealth bombers here... we have to pay the electric bill and employees. Why is this so difficult to do in education compared to other types of businesses? Surely if you take prof's salary divided by 30 students, you don't get hundreds of thousands of dollars per student.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  147. Jarrell Townsend, Portland State Senior

    I will graduate with at least 40,000 dollars in debt and i will be earning 11 dollars an hour. The 5 years it has taken me to reach graduation I could have simply worked for the same company I work for now and be in middle management without the debt. Instead I chose the traditional route because education is key to financial success and a good quality of life. I still believe education is the key, but going to college to pay thousands for a entry level job is not the best route. Its funny to me how all of our lawmakers and decision makers stress the importance of education but refuse to put their money where their mouth is. Education is always the first to get cut when discussing budget cuts. Why cut something that is supposed to help alleviate our problems? Why make it harder for our increasingly troubled youth to better themselves? If college educated people pay more taxes and develop into honest, caring, contributing members of society why not spend a little now and reap the benefits long term? I bet if more people in our states that are experiencing budget crisis' held a college degree the bottom line might be black instead of red.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  148. William

    As professors, my wife and I agree that the cost of a college education is becoming prohibitive. While there are many reasons for this, perhaps the most important are the salaries that college administrators are demanding. Contrary to popular opinion, academia is not the place of learning that it is thought to be; it is a business, just like other Fortune 500 companies, and the executives that run the business of higher education are commanding industry-level pay scales. The presidents of America's best universities routinely command million dollar salaries, and the provosts and deans which run the day-to-day business of the college/university command salaries of two- to three-hundred thousand dollars, or more. If you want to know where your money goes when paying for a college education, look no further than the business end of things.

    It is time that people shed the idea that higher education is anything more than the money making enterprise that it actually is. There was a time when this wasn't the case, but that time is long gone...

    July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  149. sven

    "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance"

    Derek Bok American Educator and Lawyer (pres. of Harvard Univ. 1971-1990)

    Then again I live in Sweden where education is free from kindergarten to phD.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  150. Edward

    If you wish to educate your self, you should investigate the salarys of bord members and faculty exculuding teacher! Their salarys continue to go up, all the while they cut teachers and programs.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  151. Gaby

    Of course. We are in a take-over by capitalism. We'll regress in education (the rich can afford whatever education they desire) which will limit our qualifications for well paying careers/jobs.
    Unless we get our heads out of our x-boxes we'll devolve into the former and forgotten middle class. Then it will be to late.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  152. Bigbrotheriswatching

    You're better off going to work out of highschool. A good friend of mine started working part time at Toys R Us while in highschool, he stayed with them and became a regional manager by the age of 28 making a lot more than our friends that went to college and he has no debt to repay.

    If you do decide to get some education a certificate program is a good route too. Its usually less than 1 year and the cost is far less and you finish with a specialized certificate to start a career (hopefully)

    July 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  153. Daniel

    Anyone can attend community college for a fraction of the cost and get the same education; in fact, studies demonstrate that most learning occurs in the first two years. The reason research universities cost so much is that they need to pay for RESEARCH: although paying for research is beneficial for society, you shouldn't confuse a charity cause with education. Unfortunately our world believes students from upper-tier schools are better than community college kids.

    If you want to fix this problem, force government to give more to research schools or convince your employer that they're wasting their money on top-tier schools.

    The true fix? Bring back the educated working class: the plumbers, car mechanics and steel-workers of the world. They'd benefit from 2 years of general ed and the remainder being apprenticeships.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  154. Jeremy

    If your going to try reduce tuition, you better also start providing tax breaks for teachers that live in higher than average cost of living areas, how do you expect those school boards to stay competitive?

    Sure the costs have gone up exceptionally, but so has everything else, including rates... the only thing that seems to have gone down is the investments people have in housing and stocks...

    This article is ridiculous, this is the last area you want to take money from.

    The only people I could for-see giving tuition breaks to are non-landed immigrants or otherwise known as "line jumpers" they do not deserve funding, or if they do get it, every cent subsidized should be owed WITH interest.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  155. Kim Steinbeck

    My son just graduated from AZ State. Thankfully, because of his dilligent work during high shool, he received a total of $40,000 in academic scholarships. He will begin paying back his federal loan of $20,000 starting in December. $60,000 total for his four year state university education. My daughter, a sophmore at AZ State, will now pay $9,000 in tuition this year – up more than $3,000 from when her brother was a sophmore. Honestly, I don't envy anyone with young children. On the other hand, no one can take your kids' education away once earned. Go Sun Devils!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  156. carole pizzani

    Universities and college's are out of control. We really need to start sending our kids to tech schools that teach them something they can actually use in a job. Companies would love it they wouldn't have to spend more money training them. It use to be you went to college for a degree in a professional field, now you go to college to take up space for another 4-5-6 years of extended vacation costing your family over 100's of thousands of dollars only to graduate without a job. Just like our government the education system and our kids are out of control

    July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  157. John Casey

    The cost of education is ridiculous at all levels. It is driven by an oversupply of government funding and a de facto oligopoly of institutions that raise prices without competition. Meanwhile costs are driven higher by salaries and bureaucracies at all levels. The bureaucrats outnumber the teachers at all levels. We need to have anti-trust investigations of universities for price fixing and we need competition to return value to our students.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  158. johnLI

    Of course it has, when I went to state college in 1982 it was $2000 per year. Private school tuition has become absurd. It's up to our local governments to provide affordable education. They are not doing their job.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  159. Jess S..

    The colleges might lay blame on the goverment for less funding but they (colleges) pay the sports coaches more money then the president of the United States gets....ie the Nebraska football coach gets over a million bucks and his assistant (his bother) gets at least that much whether they win or lose.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  160. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely, without question.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  161. George Besculides

    If you think education is too expensive, try ignorance.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  162. nate from virginia

    I think it is prohibitive, I know they're many reasons for it (primarily inflation) but, they can't expect average people to be able to pay it off. Most people i know who have graduated recently have massive loans to pay off because the didn't have the money.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  163. Glen, Ohio

    The cost increases have far exceeded inflation. Students and their families are taking on enormous debt, which may lead to our next debt crisis. Many think that more funding is the answer. I think an in-depth look at the schools' expense structure is the first step. I am guessing we will find annual expense increases that are well in excess of inflation. Schools, like the government, need to refocus their resources on the highest priorites and need to eliminate un-needed expenses and overhead

    July 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  164. Adama Tandia

    The cost of high education in US is getting more and more ridiculous. The only way to maintain a world leadership position for the US in the coming years is through a very high skilled population, which can never be achieved with the current price for college attendance. If the Europeans can provide pretty much free high education, why can't the US do it too?
    This is non sense.


    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  165. upsetabouted

    The real problem in the education sector today is greed, mainly in for-profit education, the fastest growing sector. Why not look at the millions of dollars that the top level executives are making off of federal tax dollars and give it in grants? This would not be popular though with the Republican politicians who are receiving contributions for backing the for-profit industy. Bottom line: accountability is needed in every sector, even higher education which used to be esteemed for high integrity. Keep Wall Street out. It is the only way higher education can stay clean.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  166. Scott C.

    Jack, I'm a college student myself and I think the cost is very prohibitive. I take out loans and max grants and still have to work full time to pay my bursar bill. (my family isnt in a position to offer any help) However, just like healthcare, what choice do I have? If you want anything but an entry level job you have to have higher education. I feel that we should have to pay for our education, since it is a privilage not a right, but the cost is vastly inflated. The college should cut servies that inflate prices. Gyms, meal plans, housing..... they quiclky add up and some fee's are charged even if you dont use the service!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  167. William Lavine

    Soon the only people who will be able afford and education will be athletes and the super rich. Evolution once again proves it is king. Boy, I'm glad I already got my degree.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  168. Hiawa23

    I think higher ed is too expensive. I am still paying back my student loans 14 years later after I graduated. Borrowed $20k, paid 1/2 off. I am really concerned for minorities as many in power are cutting programs that benefit many, especially us, & if the people running this country claim our future is our kids, yet many will not be able to go to college or seek higher ed due to all the cuts that they want to make, instead of raising taxes for those who can pay & eliminating loop holes in the tax structure. I make $40k/year, at this point I am not sure if my degree in Business management has been worth it.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  169. greg

    If you consider the fact that the average college graduate makes a million dollars more over their lifetime, than the average high school graduate the cost of college can be put into perspective.

    When you consider the unemployment rate for May 2011, in which those with a college degree hold a 4.5% unemployment rate compared to a 9% unemployment rate held by those without a degree, I think the cost of college can be put into perspective.

    College is an investment. I grew up in Foster Care, started at Community College while working full time, then worked to receive a scholarship to a four year university, then took worked for a university for low wages and long hours to pay for my master's degree.

    I think students expect college to be easy, but if you want the degree and are willing to really work. It is there for the taking. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Education is a good thing. Sure, it needs to be tweaked and changed, but if people want it to be less expensive, than people need to help share the cost.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  170. John in MD

    Based on your numbers that is an increase of about 4.5% (compounded) a year. Presented this way it doesn't sound too bad. The real problem seems to be the lack of growth of the median income

    July 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  171. Ryan in Portland, OR


    The cost of higher education is not prohibitive at all as it is an investment in ones future. It is no secret that the real bread winners out of college are engineers. They are readily employed and grow to have healthy salaries. Put in the time and cash now to be rewarded for decades.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  172. Nellie Yturralde

    Yes! Most definitely. Why doesn't someone look into how much the Regents are being paid. The job they are doing is not worth having them. The main Regent in California gets $11,000.00 per month to pay for the mansion he is renting. Why should our tax dollars pay for their living expenses? That is where the money to going. They are use to a lifestyle that the taxpayers are paying for. Please check this out, all the money that is going to them.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  173. cenk

    There is a ton of wasted money spent on the administrators and football department.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  174. Herbert V Markle

    No – not necessarily. It is only becoming prohibitive in the US. But we live in a "global economy" and excellence in education is not a monopoly of US universities. Why not affordable English language universities in China, India, Europe, South America or other locations? With US research funding going down and tuition going up, we may hear a great academic "sucking sound" as other countries fill the void with both academic positions and affordable higher education. If higher education is priced out of the market here others will fill the void.

    Carrollton, TX

    July 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  175. Glen

    Yes. It is in everyones best interest for us to educate our children. That means more money in k-12, and more money in the Public Universities. Stop being a penny wise and a pound foolish. Anyone who wants a college education should be able to get one without being saddled with hugh college debt. Some of our greatest advances came as a result of the GI Bill. We could add some qualifiers like, 2-4 years of public service. Peace Corps, Research labs, Teacher Assistants, Military. Things that would also give them practial experience.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  176. bill

    There's fat in university budgets. Architectural wonders instead of functional buildings. Bloated administrations. Underused facilities. The steadily increasing ratio of administrators to educators is alarming. Western Illinois University was recently asked if they would cut their expenses in response to reductions in state funding. The answer was that they would not. They didn't want to "decrease the quality" of their education. Rubbish.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  177. Kenzie

    The only reason that higher education is so expensive is because middle class parents (that can barely afford it) are forced to pay for not only their childs tuition, but indirectly, another childs who is "entitled" to their education just because they belong to a minority. And the worst part is that in a lot of cases, these "entitled" children of a minority don't even meet the requirements that the university upholds! If people would stop feeling so entitled to everything and parents would get to work to send their own child to college instead of taking a check from the government every month, the price of college would go down fast.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  178. AssociateVP

    A college education is not right for everyone. We've convinced ourselves it's a right . . . it's NOT! We're admitting virtually every HS graduate and producing generations of debt riddled college grads AND dropouts. Better economy leads to more jobs, leads to less enrollment (fewer dropouts), and finally the culling of cash hungry state institutions.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  179. Mary

    It sure does look like it is. Good jobs require degrees and degrees cost much more money than they did a few years ago. I am currently a grad student and to think of how much money I will owe in the end is depressing. Instead of encouraging young people to go to school and pursue an education, we are only getting pulled deeper into debt for this purpose. But hey, at least everyone in congress and government already have their degrees.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  180. Scott in Dallas

    If you think education is too expensive, try ignorance.

    It is working for the GOP Presidential field however.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  181. Jesse-Blacksburg VA

    After two degrees and 60k in student loan debt I can absolutely say that higher education comes at a greater cost than it is worth. I have a GIS degree from 2006. I am now seen as an undesirable candidate because I have been out the field for 5 years. I have a degree in Geology from 2010, and I am seen as an undesirable candidate in this field because I don't have an MS or a PhD. I have applied for approximately 1500 jobs in four different cities, and I have only been offered part time in a dining hall for barely above minimum wage. If I had went to trade school, I'd probably own my own home and be sitting on a nice little nest egg at this point. As it stands, I will be lucky to afford rent with one or more roommates for many years to come. None of us can return these degrees, nor can we declare bankruptcy because of the loan debt. Higher education is probably the biggest scam to ever hit our country.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  182. Bridget Bell

    Jack, I live in Phoenix and have recently gone back to college after taking 15 years off. I decided that getting my degree would assist me in paying for my 6 and 3 year old boys' looming college tuitions. Gov. Brewer just keeping cutting away at their future. Just the thought of how inflated they will be by then scares and saddens me because they spike each year already. Higher education should be available for everyone not just the über rich. What about all the hard working people who somehow still manage to end up as "low income families"? Remember, our children will take care of us one day, and if we as a society don't give them the right tools, then we are all in big trouble. Thank you for keeping this topic in the news. You rock, Jack, and Candy...Go 'Cats!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  183. Charles of Oregon

    Jack– those who benefited most from the Bush tax cuts will be able to use their tax savings to finance their children's education. The rest of us, 95% of Americans, can only hope THEY do not cut college financial aid
    whilst trying to reduce the Deficit by not raising rich folks taxes back to the percentage they paid in 2001.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  184. Dave in DC

    I love it...the rich are the reason college is so expensive. Yeah. All the "rich" people had a big meeting and said let's make college expensive. It has NOTHING to do with the universities believing they are businesses that need to increase their profits by 6% a year. Get a grip.

    I have been saying for the last decade that a backlash was coming with respect to college tuition. It can't keep increasing a the current levels.

    And for those of you complaining about getting a job out of college, I say get a real degree. Hate to tell you but your liberal arts degree in Sociology isn't going to get you a job. Get an engineering or computer science degree. Not enough kids in the country want to work hard for degrees like that. They want to have "fun" in college.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  185. InHigherEd

    Yes, it is expensive, but there are many who get taxpayers money to get education, but fail to do so! I teach in higher ed and get students who have been pushed, shoved, moved, transferred, promoted from one level to another all their lives. Once they are in higher ed. (undergraduate) most cannot string together a sentence or add 2 and 2. It is embarrassing that most of them are getting financial aid in thousands, come to classes unprepared and unconcerned, and demand a passing grade as that is how they have always 'succeeded.' The for-profit colleges and universities routinely give passing grades to keep the campus-wide averages at a reasonable level. In one of my previous jobs in upstate NY a senior faculty member even told me to give a grade of a B to a graduate student who in my view deserved the grade of an F. The senior faculty member's opinion was that at Master's level B is as bad as an F! What worries me the number of such students multiplying everyday who have this sense of entitlement to everything, while many who really want education, are unable to do so because of the high costs and other factors. Another truly troubling aspect is how many of these with no discipline or ethic, but carry ample sense of entitlement, will soon hold jobs and the mediocrity will become the norm! In the higher ed degrees are being manufactured here in the US. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  186. Max in NY

    I went to SUNY Albany (public school in NY). It cost 15k a year for everything.

    A friend of mine went to Bentley (private school in Mass). He paid 60k a year.

    We both had business related majors. I found a higher paying job more than a year before him.
    It doesn't matter where you go- it matters how you spend your time there

    July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  187. D. Grant

    Yes, Higher Ed costs are already too high! The system is broken. Students that do well on state standardized tests ACT test) get into a college that they can't afford to work in a career (like Healthcare) in which salaries will be government controlled. They can live the American Dream of ENORMOUS student loan debt and strive to pay it off in their lifetime. Where does unpaid student loan debt go? To our grandchildren.

    Single Mom of a Pre-Med student

    July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  188. Caral from SoCal

    It is not "becoming" prohibitive; the cost of higher education IS prohibitive. My husband is newly unemployed, and our 20 year old son is due to transfer from community college to a 4 year university this fall. He is the Distinguished Engineering student of the year, with great SATs, excellent GPA in his first two years. He got ZERO scholarship offers, despite our financial crisis. Why? Because everyone else is having a crisis, too. The financial aid office has been working like dogs on his behalf, and he will be talking out loans just to pay the room and board. I'm sick over how much it is costing him, and feel so badly that we cannot help. He is working this summer...but in a summer you cannot even make enough to make a dent in these tuition prices.

    I truly believe that our government would be satisfied with a permanent underclass of "worker bees" – and we just cannot allow that to happen to our children.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  189. Kthryn Moore

    Yes, the cost of higher ed is becoming prohibitive-and the Republicans are cutting funds for education of all types, including higher education, willy nilly. My question is: where is the next generation of doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and computer guys coming from? All these folks who want to cut education to the bone have a rude awakening coming. So-what are we, as a society with a social compact, going to do about it?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  190. Michael

    Absolutely. While I understand the need to pay professors well to retain talent and grants for research I can't help but think – are the multi-million dollar salaries for the football coaches of state schools REALLY necessary? Sadly, I think this is driven by the fact that more people are likely to contribute to their alma mater over a touchdown than a well written thesis.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  191. folli

    As students the only option we have is to move to china in order to get high education. Since everything is made in china that make sense

    July 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  192. Colin in Lawrence KS

    Prices on everything have increased in the last 20 years...what we should be focusing on is that wages have not increased. The far right claims everything would be better if we just let private industry lead us out of the economic doldrums, but history shows us that won't happen. The rich get richer not by creating jobs, but by keeping their money.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  193. Dan

    Considering the uselessness of a liberal arts degree or most literature and history degrees to a graduate's potential employer, yeah College is way too expensive. Seriously, the candidates I interview for most jobs are coming without the skills I need, whether they have a degree or not. With the exception of high skill careers like engineering, accounting, medical, and a scant few others; college education is a waste of money at any price. I have a BS in Psychology. I do not use it because you need a MS or PhD to counsel in any state. I am President of a growing company because I took the other smarts that I had from High School training and the motivation my parents gave me. Not because I learned the life cycle of human needs.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  194. Scott Curtis

    Education is the great equalizer in America – or it was.

    Our society will become more stratified if we can't make higher education affordable for all. That is a huge risk for democracy.

    Education should be a huge priority.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  195. Nate

    Not everyone needs to go to a 4 year university. Many people are not cut out for it. Sure, anyone can go and succeed, but its not the only path to success in life. There are high-skill blue collar positions available in this country that someone with a liberal arts philosophy degree may not qualify for, but someone with 2-4 years in technical colleges would.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  196. Lindsay

    yes it has,
    From the perspective of a young individual and recent college graduate one year out, I look back in retrospect along with my fellow peers and kick myself for believing in those ivory towers and the idea of a higher education. Our generation was taught that a higher education was always worth the deferred gratification and high risks associated with acquiring it. We were prepared, did our research, crossed out "t's" and dotted out "i's" but they never prepared us for a failing economy and an ineffectual social structure.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  197. Michael

    I think that higher education is expensive although it does depend on where you go and what you major in. It also depends on the motivation of the student and what that education means to them. I am currently working on a Masters in Food Science in a very highly ranked program and it will cost me $8000 for the whole thing – my research is funded. I also have two other degrees that were expensive so for what I am receiving compared to what it cost me, I did very well. Education is highly important to society, to the individual and to the community. Personally I think that everyone should have a chance to go to school and learn more than what is in a book...to think for themselves is extremely valuable. I also think the government should support the educational system more that it is and more should be spent instead of cut.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  198. Kyla in New York

    Yes. Not only are most universities about 40k per year, you cannot get a good career in most majors unless you go to grad school or a professional school afterwards. For example, I have friends who graduated with a degree in psychology and sociology only to have to go to a 3yr Master's program just so that they are making over 15$ an hour. Or friend's that graduated with a bachelor's in business only to have to go on for their MBA because they do not feel like earning only 30k per year. My friends that cannot afford grad school ended up with a bachelors and are working full-time as waitresses because its been over a year and a half and the job market has not opened up for them yet.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  199. Cecil Baird

    Of course it is. Students today are being told that you'll fail without a degree, but the job market for grads is dismal. You'd be better off taking that kind of money and investing it into a business franchise. I'm all for a college education as I have one, but it's getting prohibitive for the middle class.

    Why isn't anyone investigating why the overhead at universities are so high? God knows the profs don't make big bucks.

    I foresee the next big default being student loans.

    Cecil in Indiana

    July 7, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  200. Ralph Nelson

    I used to pay $183 a quarter in 1971. Today kiids pay $845 a quater and it's going up. It's too expensive today.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  201. Brian

    I had to take loans and pay for my education. Then I found a job willing to pay for my MBA and worked my way up. It is tough but everyone can do it. It take will and work ethic, where many of our entitled youth lack.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  202. Ralph Woodward

    Yes college costs are way too expensive. My daughter and son both went to college my daughter graduated and now is teaching high school math, chemistry, and physics she's paid $30,000.00 a year and her college cost her more than $40,000.00 a year and she currently owes over $100,000.00. It will be very difficult for her to pay off her loans. My son will also owe over $100,000.00 when he graduates. I have not had a full time job in years not because of my choice but rather no one wants to hire a 50+ year old. So I make do with part time jobs, growing a very large garden and raising chickens for food and cutting back everywhere.
    It's scary out there right now!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  203. Pamela

    I'm going to vocational school right now because I don't want to be in the class of the working poor anymore. Yes it costs, not only in money, but in time, stress, and countless other things, but I won't stop, because to quit is to admit defeat, and there are enough defeated out there as it is. Just one word of advice to the younger generation going to college right now-be flexible in what you learn, because you never know where or what you might come up to!

    July 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  204. John in California

    I would like to know, comparing today versus 20 years ago: 1) what percentage of the entire college system expenses were/are labor related, 2) how much of that was/is overhead/support labor, and 3) what has been the percentage increase in college labor salaries over that 20 year period. For the public, higher peducation institutions, it would be nice to know the names, salaries, perks, and retirement benefits of the top members of the education system.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  205. R. Smith

    I grew up and attended college at a time in the late fifties and early sixties when you could work part-time during the summer at a $2.00 an hour job, save your money and pay for tuition, books, and room and board for the entire schooll year (two semesters) at a state university, and graduate debt free.
    There were no government student loans, then during the 1963-1964 school year the feds came out with their student loan program and it was off to the races for tuition hikes and university building projects with no looking back.
    I think university students should simultaineously take a semester off to do something good in the country, and give the universities some time to resolve the prohibitive cost that has drained American families of their finances, and driven them into debt that may never be paid off.
    I am a university graduate, but I am a firm believer in trade school educations. You always can use a plumber, but how many social network founders do we need?

    July 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  206. Loralee Armstrong

    15 years ago a family member left $100,000.00 in a trust fund so my granddaughter could go to college. It was supposed to pay for any and all of her college through a PhD. Today she is a junior in high school and praying that tuition at our state college will not rise more than the 19% it went up this year, so she can at least get her bachelors degree.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm |