The One-Way Tuition Elevator

I spotted this article the other day, about how Colorado tuition is supposed to rise more than 9 percent for next year.

Since hearing this, there have been a lot of thoughts running through my head. I was hoping to go on to get my master’s, but with tuition increases like this in the cards, will I really be able to? And the bigger picture: If tuition continues to go up by 9 percent every year, how many more people will be excluded from the American dream?
In all actuality, the traditional American dream — the ability to better oneself through sheer hard work, in the Land of Opportunity — is nothing more than a pipe dream for many people. Education is the catch-22, the immovable barrier between the working class and the middle class: You can’t earn a middle class income anymore without a college education, and you can’t afford college without a middle class income.
The 9 percent tuition increase that is forecasted for next year just goes to show that the problem is nowhere close to abating. College is already infinitely more expensive now that it was when our parents were there, even when you compensate for inflation. When our kids are graduating high school, will we even be able to afford to send them to college?
For us, there are also the growing concerns about student loans. Banks have built practically an entire industry based on taking advantage of penniless students, which I blogged about to some degree in my post on Gotcha Capitalism. So now, not only is it virtually impossible to afford to pay for school up front, but it’s also increasingly dangerous to try to borrow in order to pay for it.
Damned if you go to college, damned if you don’t; damned if you pay for it, and doubly-damned if you can’t!

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