Paying for College

A Warning Shot Across The Bow

One of the bigger issues in national economy discussions is the ever-surging cost of going to college. I won't bother showing you a chart that documents that fact. Just imagine two lines. The one that looks relatively flat over the past few decades is your income. The line that appears to track the flight of the space shuttle is the cost of attending a four-year, degree-granting college or university. Got the picture? I'm sure that you've seen those lines before.

Well, this is an election year, after all, so it's time to promise hard-pressed families some relief from the financial burdens of higher education. The man in the driver's seat now is President Obama, who is vigorously campaigning for re-election. This past week, while addressing students at the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor, he issued a threat to schools that intend to continue their steep increases in cost over the coming years. In warlike terms, he (as one news story reported) "fired a warning shot at the nation's colleges and universities" by threatening to stop federal aid to those schools that continue to "jack up tuition" year after year.

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