And you thought bigger class sizes might be a problem.
According to a report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, college may soon be financially out of reach for most Americans. Highlighted in an article by the New York Times, the report found that
published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, adjusted for inflation, while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families.
The article goes on to note that Americans aged 25–34 are less educated than older workers, and that, with less access to credit due to the current recession, the trend of increasing college enrollment may soon lose steam. That isn’t so hard to believe with stats like these:
Last year, the net cost at a four-year public university amounted to 28 percent of the median family income, while a four-year private university cost 76 percent of the median family income.
I’m no math major, but my quick-‘n’-dirty calculations tell me that the cost of a Wesleyan education represents an astonishing 94 percent of the median annual income of an American family.