In the News

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According to The New York Times' Paul F. Campos, tuition rates are more the victim of "the constant expansion of university administration" than state-funded budget cuts.

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Thanks to rapidly rising tuition costs, America has a $1.2 trillion student debt problem.

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The Marriage Opportunity Council argues that “no politically plausible amount of government transfers” can fill the gap necessary to curb inequality. But suggesting that two-parent, married households are remedies for inequality is suspect—15.2 million impoverished children live in two-parent, married households. Relatedly, children of married parents in the United States are way poorer than children in married households in other countries. Such statements are also too dismissive of other needed solutions.

Public colleges and universities are supposed to be affordable options for students seeking a degree, but years of state budget cuts have led to increased tuition that families are struggling to afford. If states continue down this path of disinvestment, some will soon contribute nothing to higher education and leave schools and parents to fend for themselves, according to a series of new reports.

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The skyrocketing price of college tuition at previously affordable state colleges and universities is a longstanding source of concern, especially for people graduating with mountains of student debt. People have many theories as to why this is happening: administrative bloat, too-high salaries for professors, or perhaps too many unnecessary new buildings.

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“[P]ublic higher education in this country no longer exists,” writes Hiltonsmith. “Because more than half of core educational expenses at ‘public’ 4-year universities are now funded through tuition, a private source of capital, they have effectively become subsidized private institutions.”

While higher education spending used to fluctuate with the economy and tanked during the recession, it has not rebounded as the economy regains strength.

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Public university students today pay $3,000 more in annual tuition than their counterparts a decade ago. 

Why that is depends on whom you ask. Some pundits like to blame administrative bloat or the construction boom. Within higher education, many cite the decline in state support.

As the glow of finally deciding on a college begins to wear off, many students and families must wrestle with how they’re going to pay for school. 

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