Report: Higher Education Unattainable for American Families - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Report: Higher Education Unattainable for American Families

Email




by Lelita L. Cannon

With tuition costs up significantly at public universities, and with median household incomes flat, families are simply unable to afford the expense of a college education these days, says a new report. U.S. Congressional Democrats seized upon the report Wednesday, vowing to make college affordability a campaign issue this fall.  

The report, “Higher Education: Soaring Out of Reach for America’s Families,”   by the Campaign for America’s Future, confirms that the cost of tuition for attending a public four-year college went up 40 percent between 2000 and 2005. The study also found that the price tag of a public college education for the average student consumes 25 percent of the median U.S. household income. To afford a private education, families have to fork over 57 percent of their income.

The value of the Pell Grant has diminished in recent decades, and as other sources of funding have dwindled, students are increasingly relying on loans to get through school. Earlier this year, Congress cut $12 billion out of federal student aid programs, in part to finance tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

The average graduate of a four-year college will leave school with $23,600 in student loan debt and an additional $2,000 in credit card debt, according to the report. 

Democrats are touting the Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act of 2006, a bill sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and designed to make college more affordable. The bill would cut interest rates on subsidized student loans in half — from a fixed rate of 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent — and cut rates on parent loans for undergraduates from a fixed rate of 8.5 percent to 4.25 percent.

Related:  ELIZABETH CARDONA

“Education is not only an issue for middle-income families, it is a national security issue as well,” says U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., senior democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “You need to have well-educated, well-trained individuals to have strong national security. 

“We have a student loan program that works well for the banks, and not for the students — it is not working for middle-income families, and that is the challenge of our time,” Kennedy says. “The Democrats in the Senate and in the House are strongly committed to maintain affordability for middle-income children and for the sons and daughters of the working poor.”

— By Lelita L. Cannon

 

Reader comments on this story:

There are currently no reader comments on this story.



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

RELATED ARTICLES >>
West Virginia U. Offers Tuition Incentive to Nursing Students MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University is offering tuition incentives in hopes of increasing the number of highly trained nurses in the state and beyond. The WVU School of Nursing says it will offer in-state tuition for all students — regard...
Smith College Raises Possible Record $486M NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — A private liberal arts college for women says the Massachusetts school has raised a record-high $486 million. The Boston Globe reports Smith College in Northampton announced on Monday its “Women for the World” campaign significa...
University of Wyoming to Hire Diversity Officer CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming is looking to hire a chief diversity officer in an effort to increase and retain minority students and faculty. The Casper Star-Tribune reported Monday that UW spokesman Chad Baldwin says the university has...
Michigan State Prohibits Whiteboards After Anonymous Bullying EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University has decided to no longer allow whiteboards as an acceptable item on dorm doors as of the coming fall semester because of bullying through the boards. While the whiteboards were commonly used for friend...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *