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49 states fail in college affordability

All but one state failed an American higher education test of college affordability, The Star Tribune reported.

The biennial study, funded by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, evaluates how well higher education institutions are serving the publics. Grading on an A-F scale, the study handed out 49 Fs, passing only California, which received a C thanks to its relatively inexpensive community colleges.

The report published from the study shows that college tuition has increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, while median family income rose only 147 percent, The New York Times reported.

“The middle class has been financing [college] through debt,? said Patrick Callahan, president of the center. “The scenario has been that families that have a history of sending kids to college will do whatever if takes, even if that means a huge amount of debt.?

Even community colleges, long seen as the alternative to high-cost public and private 4-year universities have seen increase in tuition.

If college tuition increases continue the educational gap between generations will continue to grow.

"We’re really going to be in jeopardy, because the educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive," Callahan said. "Already, we’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.