By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, December 4th, 2008 at 1:10 pm in College Apps & Angst.
Oh, ouch! Over the last 25 years, college costs rose at triple the rate of family incomes. Between 1982 and 2007, college tuition went up 439 percent, while the average family saw its income rise a measly 147 percent. And it’s not going to get any better. According to the latest report out of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, those rising costs are going to make college an impossibility for most Americans in the coming years. And that’s not even counting the current recession’s impact on family pocketbooks. Already, the middle class is financing their children’s college educations by going into debt. According to a New York Times piece this morning on the “Measuring Up 2008″ report, the average family with a child at a public university spent 28 percent of its income putting one kid through college, including tuition, fees, dorms and dining halls. A year at private school? That was 76 percent of the average middle class family’s income. And the numbers for California families were even worse. Even community colleges may soon be beyond most working class families’ capacity to pay.
What it doesn’t mention, but we will, is that many families have college funds that they have carefully and painstakingly contributed to month after month and year after year. And those accounts were savaged in this fall’s Wall Street debacle. Many of us are afraid to even look and see how little is left.
So here’s the question for you. Click “comments” and tell us, how are you feeling about your kids’ college futures? How are you going to pay for those four years? And where the heck is the federal bailout for college students?