It was only twenty years ago that my tuition for N.Y.U was 12,000 and now it is at about 39,000. Moreover, my first and only year at S.U.N.Y at Albany was 5,000 including room and board whereas my son in 2009 when he was at U of Mass at Amherst was clocking in at 23,000. I would argue that this insane increase in our higher education costs, in both the private and state level sectors, is by way of the Reagan legacy, another thing that we can lay at his feet. He instituted the idea that government cannot be of value and made it okay to stop funding public entities such as public education, so that the state universities were forced to increase their tuition in order to stay relevant in the higher education business and of course as is everything in America, education is a business, the private universities began to outdo one another when it came to stadiums, student centers and athletic fitness centers, let us not forget the cafeteria. We also all bought into the idea that in order to get that great job, you needed that great education with a brand name because it was an investment. The mantra was and still is, you need a college education if you want to make something of yourself. Unfortunately the students are now suffering from very bad policy decisions of the eighties. If we look over to Europe, their whole idea is that everyone is in it together and investing in your people is what government is all about. Imagine going to university and tuition being about 1000.00 tops, that is what it is in Germany. They are an economic powerhouse, yet they have affordable education, very strong unions, living wages and universal health care coverage. Why do we insist making life difficult at all stages? Where in the world does it make any sense to start young graduates without a job on a path in life already in debt? Where is the logic? Where is the long term investment for us as a society? These poor graduates won’t be able to invest in our consumeristic society if they are busy paying out between 300 and 900 dollars a month for years to repay their loans, those monies could be used to pay mortgages, car loans, and etc. We have choices, we choose our elected officials, we choose the messages that we send to Washington, we need to choose to make education a public priority and make it an affordable one.
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