Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The High Price of College

The favorite question liberal newsmen ask incoming Republican members of Congress is: you promised to cut federal spending, so what programs will you cut? A good answer is college student grants and loans because those handouts are probably wasteful and harmful.Since Obama became President he has increased college student aid by nearly 50% to $145 billion a year, including an additional $10 billion in Pell grants. It's unclear that these extravagant handouts benefit the young people they are supposed to help. It's unlikely that students will get a job that justifies the colossal price paid by the students (or their parents) who cough up the sticker price, or the colossal debt students accumulate. As Ronald Reagan reminded us, Why don't we find out if what we are doing is part of the problem.

The more federal money handed out for college tuition, the more the price of tuition rises for everyone. Government financial aid always makes things cost more, not less (just like health care), so it is no surprise that college tuition has been rising faster than the consumer price index.

The average annual cost at public four-year institutions for tuition, room and board is $16,140. At private four-year universities, the average price is $37,000. But the majority of college students in four-year colleges fail to graduate within six years, so the total price (to parents or to student debt or to the taxpayers) much, much higher than they expect.

The average student-loan debt of students who graduated last year was $24,000. Students, their parents and the taxpayers should ask, is college worth it? It's unlikely the graduates will get a job that can pay off that kind of debt. In the current economy in which unemployment for 20-to-24-year-olds is running at 10 percent, will they get a job at all?

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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