Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

High Tuition Makes Kids Hungry

College tuition is so high at state universities that some have had to open food banks for hungry students. The College and University Food Bank Alliance sponsors food pantries on over 50 campuses. The whole point of public universities was for students to get an affordable education, subsidized by the taxpayers. But it’s not working as planned. The average cost of tuition alone at a public college is almost $9,000, and total costs can rise to $20,000 when you include housing, meals, transportation, and other expenses. Even with a generous taxpayers’ subsidy, the costs are so high that some students are forced to choose between school fees and dinner. Meanwhile, colleges continue to spend extravagant amounts on palatial dorms, Olympic-size athletic facilities, and state-of-the-art buildings. Then there’s the administrative bloat—the high number of university employees who have nothing to do with teaching.

When I was in college in the 1940s, I was able to pay my own way at a private university. Today, the cost of attending my alma mater is over $44,000, and it’s almost impossible for a student to work his way through. Even if a student has a full-time job, he would have to earn more than $20 an hour to cover tuition.

The easy availability of government money is a problem, not a solution. In the last five years, public university tuition has increased 27%. The costs have risen the most at schools that are directly supported by tax dollars. Food banks for starving students are not a long-term solution. The solution is for tuition to decrease so that students can afford both education and food. And that will only happen when Congress reduces the amount of taxpayers' money that is available to students for college loans.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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