Americans know that college is important and the surest way to secure a professional job. But how should we be paying for it? The American system long ago moved into debt financing as one of the primary methods students pay for college. But this is becoming untenable. As former National Education Association President Reg Weaver writes in Education Week:
Americans can’t hide from this expensive truth: Skills training or education that leaves graduates poised for success in the workplace is beyond the reach of far too many families. Gaining access to higher education is now an arduous mission, and paying for that education or training can be a lifetime burden. Can we honestly tell our children that the debt from college, which often stretches to more than $100,000, is going to be worth it?
So how do we pay for it? Good question.
In July, 2009 Barak Obama said the United States needs 5 million new college graduates by 2020. If the United States is really serious about getting anywhere near there, we’re going to need a much better funding model.