In 2009 dollars, the average cost for one year of tuition, fees, and room and board charges at four year American Private Colleges and Universities was $14,554 in 1975.
Guess what it is now?
That's right, boys and girls, it increased by 144% even after adjusting for inflation!
And the thing is that during this time the Median Income for the average American Households increased by only 21%.
This means that even after adjusting for both inflation and increased income, a year of going to a Private American University or College now costs slightly more than DOUBLE what it did in 1975.
Ronald Reagan's Academic Supremacist regime and its rabidly Anti-Youth policies happened:
"Student loans aren't a solution to skyrocketing tuition. They're its cause.
The economy may suck, but the last thing the nation's colleges and universities need is more money. There are exceptions, but most are awash in cash.
It's easy to see why: since 1980, tuition at private institutions has gone up at triple the rate of inflation, and twice the rate of people's salaries. As Timothy Egan noted in The Times, "If the cost of milk had risen as fast as college since 1980…a gallon would be $15."
Private schools, especially the elite, are getting an enviable return on their misbegotten windfall profits. Seventy-six colleges hold endowments over $1 billion. Harvard has $35 billion--more than the GDP of 100 of the world's 179 nations.
Nationally, colleges got a 17.2 percent return on their investments in 2007--while spending a mere 4.6 percent of that tsunami of cash on their students.
Public schools are nearly as greedy. Over the last five years, they've hiked tuition 31 percent faster than inflation. According to the AP, it's "the worst record on college prices of any five-year period covered by the survey dating back 30 years."
Why do colleges raise tuition so much faster than the inflation rate? Because they can.
Since 1981, when President Reagan got rid of a financial aid system mostly based on grants (which don't have to be repaid), easy credit on student loans has made it possible for any student to borrow as much as he or she needs--or, to put it another way, however much a college decides to charge. It's simple supply and demand; with no downward pressure on tuition, the warlords of college have an overwhelming temptation to gouge.
And gouge they do.
No one seems to question the wisdom of lending tens of thousands of dollars at above-market compound interest rates to children whose employment history amounts to, at most, a year at Burger King. 17-year-old borrowers have no idea what they're getting into; parents imagine (usually wrongly) that kids' college degree will guarantee them high enough wages to pay it all off and then some.
The average college graduate comes out owing $24,200 in student loans. And that's an average. Many owe more--much more--in a non-existent job market. Saddled with crushing monthly payments as high as a home mortgage in some areas, millions of young people are forced to move back home. According to a 2002 study for the student lender Nellie Mae, student loan debt forced 38 percent of college graduates to delay buying their first house, 14 percent to get married later, and 21 percent to wait until they're older to have children.
Bankruptcy rates among young adults in their 20s are soaring, but default rates on student loans remain relatively low, under five percent. (Laws have been changed so that bankruptcy doesn't relieve your obligation to repay student loans).
Students and taxpayers get poorer. Colleges get richer."
-"No More Student Loans? Good."