Home > Politics > High Cost of Education Explained

High Cost of Education Explained

“For decades, American politicians have waxed passionate on the need to put college within every family’s reach. … The College Board, which tracks each type of financial assistance in a comprehensive annual report, shows total federal aid soaring by more than $100 billion in the space of a single decade — from $64 billion in 2000 to $169 billion in 2010. … And what have we gotten for this vast investment in college affordability? Colleges that are more unaffordable than ever. Year in, year out, Washington bestows tuition aid on students and their families. Year in, year out, the cost of tuition surges, galloping well ahead of inflation. And year in, year out, politicians vie to outdo each other in promising still more public subsidies that will keep higher education within reach of all. … Federal financial aid is a major source of revenue for colleges and universities, and aid packages are generally based on the gap between what a family can afford to pay to send a student to a given college, and the tuition and fees charged by that college. That gives schools every incentive to keep their tuition unaffordable. Why would they reduce their sticker price to a level more families could afford, when doing so would mean kissing millions of government dollars goodbye? Directly or indirectly, government loans and grants have led to massive tuition inflation. … The more government has done to make higher education affordable, the more unaffordable it has become. Doing more of the same won’t yield a different outcome.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

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