Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Soaring costs put university out of reach for most

Today's NYT delivers heartbreaking news for most American families. Your kids probably won't be going to college.

While high school sorting and obsession with standardized testing act as gate keepers on one end, the spiraling cost of post-secondary education does it on the other. Currently, the amount of debt necessary to send a student to the university for four years has made a college degree practically inaccessible to all but the wealthy. And it's not just because of the recession.

The rising cost of college — even before the recession — threatens to put higher education out of reach for most Americans, according to the annual report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
The report, “Measuring Up 2008,” is one of the few to compare net college costs — that is, a year’s tuition, fees, room and board, minus financial aid — against median family income. Those findings are stark. Last year, the net cost at a four-year public university amounted to 28 percent of the median family income, while a four-year private university cost 76 percent of the median family income.

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