“Priced Out”?

Middle class Americans are getting priced out of college, according to a story at CNN Money. As Annalyn Censky writes:

Tuition and fees at public universities, according to the College Board, have surged almost 130% over the last 20 years — while middle class incomes have stagnated.

According to the Department of Education, the portion of middle-income students that enrolled in four-year colleges has dropped, while their enrollment in 2-year colleges has risen, over the last decade.

This is a good point, but it doesn’t actually indicate that Americans are getting “priced out.” They just devote more of their income to pay for higher education, and they assume higher debt.

That’s the problem with the rising cost of college tuition. For most things, if they become too expensive, people stop buying them. For college tuition, people think that the risks of not getting a degree are too high. Since it’s so difficult to ever get a professional job without a college degree, people just keep paying for the degrees, even though the price is so high.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer