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Behind Soaring College Tuition

According to Business Insider, the average cost of college is $10,000 dollars for an in-state public university and $27,000 dollars for out-of-state per year. For private school tuition, it’s $38,000 dollars per year. That doesn’t include other expenses, including room and board, food passes, textbooks and so forth., all of which total tens of thousands of dollars. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in the U.S. is $31,113. One of the largest issues facing the youth of this country is skyrocketing tuition rates. 

Since the 2008 recession, the number of kids who've gone to college for career education has risen dramatically, with a 33 percent increase in two-year college enrollment. 

A college degree has become the only way for young people to get a high-paying job in this country, and the cost of being able to become a proper member of society is thousands in debt. How did this happen? 

The first factor has been the increased demand for college education that occurred after the 2008 recession. A big part of the workforce at this point still didn’t have a college education and were the first to be laid off. 

The second factor was the privatization of college loans. Before the 1970’s, there were no banks or federal agencies that would give eighteen-year-olds, without an income or FICO score, loans to study. 

However, in the 70s, a movement demanding increased access to higher education rose. This resulted in the first college loan given out by the federal government, allowing kids to consider higher education. The loans offered by the federal government had very low to no interest rates and easy loan forgiveness, but that couldn’t last forever. 

Soon, the Federal government gave these loans to the banks. To ensure banks would give such loans out, they let them charge sky-high interest rates and refused to let students declare bankruptcy on their student loans. 

More kids than ever had access to higher education they wouldn’t be able to receive otherwise. However, college debt became a particularly difficult form of debt and could easily get out of hand. 

The last factor is accreditation standards. Accreditation is when an institution is officially recognized as legitimate and degrees from it are accepted universally. If a stringent set of standards isn't met, the institution could lose accreditation, and the degrees of previous alumni could be called into question. 

The administration of these universities will do whatever it takes to stay accredited, even if it calls for unnecessary spending subsidized by students. Many have complained that some of the things the accreditation board calls for are completely unnecessary, such as constant expansion and building. These standards force universities to spend on expenses the administration would never agree to otherwise.


To see all sources consulted or to learn about the author, Michael Joseph, click HERE.

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