Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Racket of College Education

When I worked my way through college, my tuition was merely a few hundred dollars per year. Today, it costs more than $50,000 per year for a student to attend many of the private colleges in our country. To pay for this, many students have been going into massive debt with no end in sight. Over the past decade, the amount of student loans has increased by more than 50% in many states. In Wisconsin, the student debt load has spiked by a whopping 74%.

In total, young people now carry about $1.3 trillion in debt for their college education. That is about $400 billion more than the total amount of credit card debt. Even the cost of college textbooks has increased at a rate far faster than inflation, by more than 82% over the past decade. This has shocked students at public universities with an average annual cost of $1,200 just for their course books. Ordinarily, people think twice before they spend that kind of money. But all too often students are misled about the real cost of student loans; it’s a costly road to nowhere.

The proposed solution from Democrats is to throw even more taxpayer money at colleges, but that approach was what drove up the cost of college education in the first place. Historically, federal spending on colleges was substantially less than state spending. But federal funding for colleges has skyrocketed from $43 billion in 2000 to more than $83 billion today, which is more than state spending.

This new federal funding expanded the numbers attending college, saddling them with enormous debt that they struggle to pay off. Some never graduate. “Caveat emptor” is Latin for “buyer beware.” If someone is spending $100,000 or even $200,000 on a college degree, it would be smart to consider carefully if your field of study is worth that kind of investment.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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