Ninety-four percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree borrow to pay for higher education — up from 45 percent in 1993, according to an analysis by The New York Times of the latest data from the Department of Education. This includes loans from the federal government, private lenders and relatives.
And why is this?
Nationally, state and local spending per college student, adjusted for inflation, reached a 25-year low this year, jeopardizing the long-held conviction that state-subsidized higher education is an affordable steppingstone for the lower and middle classes. All the while, the cost of tuition and fees has continued to increase faster than the rate of inflation, faster even than medical spending. If the trends continue through 2016, the average cost of a public college will have more than doubled in just 15 years, according to the Department of Education.
The intro to this story focused on a massively expensive private school, natch, the better for commenters to disregard the story because the young woman quoted should probably have known that great educations are not for those without family fortunes, after all. How dare she want in on the rich kids’ club and take advantage of a means to pay for it?
But the public college cost is where people are truly going to see suffering. If you can’t get into your own state school without loans the size of house mortgages, how on earth are you supposed to even think about college?