Higher education: Priced out of reach?
By Holly Hubbard Preston International Herald Tribune
Talk about the real world. U.S. university graduates enter the job market with new degrees, all the confidence of youth and student loan debts averaging $19,200 – a 58 percent inflation- adjusted increase from ten years ago, according to figures compiled by the State Public Interest Research Group, a Washington-based independent research organization.
Most university graduates outside the United States have nothing of the financial burden of their American counterparts – yet. But countries around the globe, from Britain to Kenya to New Zealand to Mexico, are embracing what academics call “cost sharing” or “revenue diversification” to shift education finance away from government. That means more students and their parents are assuming more of the cost of higher education – and that is leading economists and educators to wonder about the long-term effects on personal wealth and advancement.