Cost of college degree in U.S. has increased 1,120 percent in 30 years, Bloomberg report says. Here’s something practical that will help pay the burgeoning bills.

November 26, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Article Archive

by  Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s program note. His given name was Hubert Prior Vallee, and he was born July 28, 1901 in Island Pond, Vermont.  Boyishly good looking, suave, charming and a real life Yalie, the world (particularly its female moiety) came to know and love him as “Rudy”. He was the world’s first pop star, barnstorming the country with saxophone, raccoon coat, megaphone, college pennants and beanies galore and a happy-go-lucky disposition that wasn’t quite his but suited his moment of maximum glory to the proverbial “t”.

Told by his family, friends and even his own band members that he should give up vocalizing because of a voice that was thin and reedy, he listened instead to that inner voice each successful person seems to have. As a result, he blazed a trail many other crooners would follow, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como.

He also had a major influence in creating the brand-new American collegiate experience — now with girls! College now became the place to go if you were one and twenty; providing suitable young men with the skills the Great Republic and all its enterprises needed and the sheepskin to prove it… and young women with access to these reliable males, the world their oyster; just the kind of men they were expected to impress and bring home for vetting and beaming parental approval.

They were called “Betty Co-ed” and in 1930 Rudy Vallee released the popular song of this name. It reached #4 on the charts and helped make college and its uniquely American environment the place to be if you were aspiring, bright, toothsome and ambitious… and so it has remained from that day to this. Thus, for the musical accompaniment to this article, I give you the bouncy “Betty Co-ed”, the gal who “gets the men in rushes by well-cultivated blushes. And she’s happy with a fellow on each arm.” You’ll find it in any search engine. Oh, yes, college it had to be by all means.

The problem was that paying for the college experience began to take all means… as I myself learned later as I watched my father struggle with the ever increasing financial forms and requirements dispatched by colleges to ensure he kept his nose to the grindstone the better to keep three kids in the best possible alma mater. Indeed, it seemed at times that he was working for the colleges his children attended. And so were all the other parents with children hoping to attend college, in college, or having graduated from college leaving a mountain of debt as proof of matriculation and attendance.

Alarming proof on just how bad this situation is and how much worse it is likely to get.

According to a new report just released by Bloomberg, the cost of a college degree in the United States has increased 1,120 percent over the past 30 years; that’s an over 12 fold increase, far outpacing the price inflation of consumer goods, medical expenses, and food. Records used to study this walloping increase have been kept since 1978 and prove that the rate of increase in college costs has been “four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index”. By comparison, the report notes that medical costs in this period have climbed 601 percent, while the price of food has increased “just” 244 percent.

A flurry of alarming news.

Bloomberg’s detailed alarum is not the only distressing intelligence on this subject; not by a long shot. Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported the average tuition at four-year public universities increased by15 percent between 2008 and 2010. Private universities were also found to have had significant price increases.

“Soaring tuition and shrinking incomes are making college less and less affordable,” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told Bloomberg. “For millions of young people, rising college costs are putting the American dream on hold, or out of reach.”  Then the punch line, the obvious deduction: as tuition costs continue to rise and the national student loan debt hits $1 trillion, some people  have been left wondering if college is even worth it anymore. And that in the name of Rudy Vallee and his Betty Co-ed is a tragedy in the offing. Everything, and I do mean everything, must be done to save that paradise of rah-rah and “roguish eyes, telling lies, breathing sighs”. And so in due course the matter came to the attention of the Honorable Barack, who in the best traditions of his ilk never met a cream puff he didn’t like and couldn’t finesse.

Thus the word came down from on high at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; the President likes colleges; the President is agin’ gouging tuitions; the President is shocked by the fast escalating numbers; the President particularly wants to assist beleaguered members of the middle class; the President feels your pain. You get the picture. He said the same kind of thing for Mom, apple pie and homeless kittens. Gosh, what a guy.

“Details? Who needs details!”

Like all successful politicians the Honorable Barrack knows how to turn a random crumb into a bakery. No where is his undeniable talent for producing gold from straw more evident than in his “plan” to cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next decade. Now if he had stopped to consider the matter, he would have asked himself, “Self, just how am I going to do this?” He would have responded, “Darned if I know.”

But politicians, especially the highest muckety-mucks with a paragraph in history books, aren’t like you and me. No way! We’d be asked for details, for specifics, for a clear statement and assessment of every assumption and contingency. The Honorable Barack didn’t do any of that. He simply said he’d achieve this goal by using the powers of the Great Republic and his high office to force colleges to toe the line — or else face the music.

Now I ask you… do you want the federal government intervening in the matter, dictating what colleges and universities can charge; what they can and cannot do? The Honorable Barack thinks it’s a swell idea… but he achieved his goal of thumping his chest for middle class votes the minute he opened his mouth on the subject.

He didn’t provide any details because he didn’t have them and certainly wasn’t going to wait to expatiate on the issue until he did. That was for lesser folks… not presidents of the Great Republic. It’s “Mad Magazine What Me Worry?” “trust me”, mystery politics at its most insidious. But what does the Honorable Barack care? Helping hard-pressed folks with their whopping college bills was never the objective; getting the votes of such people was.

A better plan from me right here right now.

Now hear this. Maybe the Honorable Barack can merely trifle with this issue… but you can’t. You need real money… not deceptive words and false promises. You need to go to any search engine and search on categories like “scholarships for college,” or “college awards, honors and prizes,” “money sources for college tuitions”, etc.  (Note: this is where learning how to refine your search is key. Brainstorm your categories, write them down; then search and refine again.) What you find will thrill you… thousands of potential funding sources.

I like Gale’s “Awards, Honors & Prizes” and “Winners, the blue ribbon encyclopedia of awards”, edited by Claire Walter.

Your search will garner resources that cover thousands and thousands of possible collegiate (and other) funding sources. Now the real work begins — familiarizing yourself with each funding source and the appropriate entries for you in each. This takes time, patience, and judgement; not precisely the best traits of adolescents. But if you want the money you cannot simply rely on school guidance counsellors; you need to be fully engaged with the process yourself, treating it as the priority it is.

Does this work? It most assuredly does. It’s what I did starting my junior year of high school and, because I was a fanatic, my labors lead to one gratifying money-making prize after another. I became something of a celebrity at school.

Will this produce enough money for all? Sadly not. But it will produce needed funds for people like you; perhaps even the crucial dollars that make the difference between going to college at all, or not. With them you won’t miss these crucial moments of your life, the classes, the friendships, the games and of course… Betty Co-ed majoring in artful flirtation, oodles of charm and…you!

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today at http://www.Worldprofit.com

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