Containing the Cost of College
This past weekend, the Lancaster Sunday News (PA) featured two, side-by-side columns about the rising cost of higher education. Both articles are worth reading: “Paying For College Is A Whole New Ballgame” by Lancaster Newspapers staff writer Gil Smart and “Student Services Fuel Rising College Costs” by Elizabethtown College professor April Kelly-Woessner. Here are a few highlights…
From Mr. Smart:
“According to U.S. News & World Report, the total cost of a four-year degree by the time my youngest goes to college, assuming he does, will top $200,000… My own schooling was paid for with grants, loans and the occasional credit card; the debt was paid off a decade after I graduated, and the feeling of liberation was palpable. But the $10,000 or so I owed is minuscule compared to the debt accumulated by graduates today. And particularly in this job market — one likely to continue deteriorating in terms of quality, good-paying jobs for those just out of school — how in the world can grads expect to conquer the resulting mountain of debt?”
From Dr. Kelly-Woessner:
“College costs are largely consumer- driven. The solution may be to simply reduce the money available to students. Unfortunately, universities often find that instructional costs are the easiest to cut. Indeed, many institutions are increasingly relying on low-paid adjuncts. In the face of financial strain, my husband has seen the full-time faculty members in his department at Penn State Harrisburg cut in half. So, although faculty salaries have not driven the rising tuition costs, instruction is often the first casualty in the face of budget cuts.”
From my many conversations with families, I’m realizing more and more that parents and students have questions about how to make wise decisions concerning life after high school. That’s why I’m so excited about the seminar on October 12 in Lancaster, PA. Registration info coming soon!
Expert Interview: “College, Crippling Debt and Financial Wisdom: J. Steve Miller Interview”