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College Costs Keep Going Up - Wring Our Hands or Do Something? Tom, Bob?

From the NYT:

The price of a college education rose substantially last year, despite a 2.1 percent decline in the Consumer Price Index from July 2008 to July 2009.

Hit hard by state budget cuts, four-year public colleges raised tuition and fees by an average of 6.5 percent last year.
Prices at private colleges rose 4.4 percent, according to a report issued Tuesday by the College Board.

Patrick Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, called the increases "hugely disappointing."

"Given the financial hardship of the country, it's simply astonishing that colleges and universities would have this kind of increases," Mr. Callan said. "It tells you that higher education is still a seller's market. The level of debt we're asking people to undertake is unsustainable.

"A lot of people think we can solve the problem with more financial aid, but I think we have to have some cost containment. For all the talk about reinventing higher education, I don't see any results."

[Bob, Tom ?]

But with college costs so high, borrowing is increasing as well. Although grant aid rose significantly in the 2008-9 school year, the latest year for which data are available, student borrowing -- and the gap between available resources and the overall cost of attending college -- continued to increase, the report said.

[So claiming that scholarship money is increasing does NOT mean that the net cost is decreasing, in fact the actual cost continues to increase at a rate that far outstrips inflation. Being honest about this might help us at the legislature, but then this would require some backing and filling on what has been said previously.]

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