Public colleges are often no bargain for the poor

It makes no sense for a country such as ours to punish young people who want an education and make it so difficult for poor students to change their lives – this is one way we continue to propagate the cycle of poverty and income inequality.

WASHINGTON — Many public colleges and universities expect their poorest students to pay a third, half or even more of their families’ annual incomes each year for college, a new study of college costs has found.

With most American students enrolling in their states’ public institutions in hopes of gaining affordable degrees, the new data shows that the net price – the full cost of attending college minus scholarships – can be surprisingly high for families that make $30,000 a year or less.

The numbers track with larger national trends: the growing student-loan debt and decline in college completion among low-income students.

Because of the high net price, “these students are left with little choice but to take on heavy debt loads or engage in activities that lessen their likelihood of earning their degrees, such as working full time while enrolled or dropping out until they can afford to return,” Stephen Burd wrote in a recent report for the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan group that examines the effects of rising inequality and other trends.

See the full article here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/05/29/192492/public-colleges-are-often-no-bargain.html#.UailXX7n_VI.

2013-05-30T21:36:53+00:00

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