Much has been said about the crisis of college debt and what to do about it. I agree it can be crippling. According to “Urban Wire: Education and Training’s Survey of Consumer Finances,” the average student debt for a household earning $27,000 to $52,00 is $34,000. This is clearly a problem.
I maintain the real crisis is the rising cost of a college degree.
The Bureau of Labor Statics states that from 1980 to 2020, college tuition increased 1,184% while inflation increased 228%. It may come as a surprise to some that during the same time period, the increase in health care costs was less than half the increase in tuition.
The University of Minnesota’s “Biennial Budget Base” shows that taxpayers currently pay, in federal and state taxes, 33% of the current University of Minnesota budget. Tuition accounts for 26%. Asking taxpayers to pick up another $10,000 of every student’s debt would do nothing to reign in the ever-rising cost of a college education. Conversely, it would serve as a disincentive for colleges and universities to get their budgets back in line with the real world.
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