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Subject:  Re: College degree value Date:  5/1/2013  11:15 PM
Author:  PolymerMom Number:  49274 of 117468

Good points, one and all, but you missed a big one. State funding of the higher education has decreased dramatically and wages haven't kept up.

State appropriations have historically been the most important source of funding for higher education, but over the past two decades that support has waned. Between 1990 and 2010, real appropriations per full time equivalent student (FTE) declined by 26.1 percent, putting funding today at its lowest level since 1990.1

As real state spending per full time student decreased, institutions made up the difference by raising the price of attendance, shifting costs that were once a social investment onto students and their families instead. Over the same 20 year period, tuition costs have increased by 112 percent at 4-year public universities and by 71 percent at 2-year colleges.

Tuition in the mid-to-late 60's was affordable. I paid $270/year for tuition and fees at a state university. Sure, I could also buy a loaf of bread for a quarter and round steak sold for 69 cents a pound when on sale. But I could also pay tuition and $60/month rent on a part-time job that paid $1.50/hour. That was a few cents above a minimum wage of $1.25/hour because I was "skilled" at running computers on campus.

Besides, this isn't a closed economy. The blame isn't limited to this country's educational shortcomings. Today's corporations desperately want to bring in more H1-B workers at below the wages it would take to pay off student debt and live in a reasonable apartment close to work.
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