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Generation Debt

From the Star-Tribune
Sunday, April 26 (2009)

Kudos to U of M alumn, Jenna Ross, for a fine article – front page above the fold – in today’s Sunday Strib.

[The article is “paper only” at this point. Hopefully it will go up on the web at some time in the future and a proper link can be given.]

Selections from Generation Debt:

“Bri Gamblain couldn’t register for a second semester at the U because she didn’t have the money. Now she works at Harvard Market on the campus and spends her days at home or looking for a second job.”

“To pay for school, Tom Sakrzewicz has worked most weeknights uloading hundreds of trucks and will likely fight in a war. Still, the University of Minnesota junior expects to graduate owing more than $25,000.”

“Student debt is soaring – it has risen 157 percent in the state over the past decade – as college costs advance at a rate far exceeding family income.”

“The aid never grows as fast as the cost, so we’re always falling behind.” Patrick Callahan, Center for Public Policy and Higher Education

“In a recent survey by the non-profit, Public Agenda, 67 percent said many who qualified for college can’t get there. … Those numbers ‘reveal a chipping away of public support for higher education and a growing suspicion about how well colleges and universities use the money that they,’ the report warns.”

“Minnesota residents attending the Twin Cities campus now pay $10,756 a year in tuition and fees. (With room, board, and books that grows to about $21,000.)”

“There is also mounting pressure on universities to hold down costs. Questions about expenses are becoming more pointed: Why build that multi-million-dollar athletic complex? Why pay your president more than $400,000? “

“House and Senate education committees are taking their deepest look yet at how the University of Minnesota spends its money, questioning new programs and faculty compensation.”

“ Sen. Claire Robling, the ranking minority member of the higher education committee believes that the U should tap reserves, cut compensation, and narrow its mission before raising tuition.”

The next article in the series should be interesting: “Monday: Legislators, critics tell colleges: Show us the money.”

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