College Costs Gone Wild
Here are some interesting numbers for you folks with kids. From 2000-2001 the total amount of student aid dished out to undergrad and graduate students was $98 billion. From 2010-2011 that number jumped to $227 billion. Now just for perspective if you tack inflation onto these numbers, the $98 billion in 2000 equates to about $125 billion in 2010. (Thanks inflation calculator!) In 2000 there were approximately 15 million undergraduate/graduate enrolled and in 2010 there were 20 million (this is information sourced from the US Census). So the student population grew by 33%, but the amount of total aid dished out grew by 132% (82% adjusted for inflation); slight disparity there, no?
Now there’s no agenda to this really. It’s more or less just to present some food for thought. But I do think it’s worth at least considering that one of the main reasons that tuition costs keep going up is because there is so much money being made available to spend on it. I mean if a school has a waiting list, then they have all the leverage. What if it was the schools chasing after the students? That would be pretty sweet, but it’s not that way and that’s a problem. Here's some scary info for you: total charges at a private college average about $40,000 per year today. Are you f$#&ing kidding me? I mean we’ve got 529s for our kids that in theory might not even cover a year at that rate!
The fact of the matter today is that student loan debt is now at $1 trillion total. That is more than credit card debt and even auto-loan debt. And what’s even scarier is that you can’t just default or wipe out that student loan debt in bankruptcy (not that I necessarily condone that mind you, but it’s relevant). That stuff is with you for good. Here’s another gem for you. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently did some research and found that Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans. Think about that for a second.