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Real World Graduation, Question 5 «

Real World Graduation, Question 5

RealWorldGraduation_Question_5   <– PDF

A study by the U. S. Department of Education in 2006 [1] reported that college tuition, fees, and room and board are continuing to rise. The data in Figure 5-1 shows the costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board for in-state students attending public four-year universities, living on-campus.  A separate study [2] concluded that a college graduate with a 4-year degree in 2005 will earn 63% more than a person with only a high school diploma (approximately $57,000 per year vs. $35,000 per year).  This means, on average, that a college graduate earns approximately 75% more over their working lifetimes ($2.1 M vs. $1.2 M) as compared to a person with only a high-school diploma.  Given the costs of a college education shown in Figure 5-1, and the earnings benefits of a college education, what is a good federal policy regarding college costs?

  1. a) The federal government should ensure all tuition, fees, and room-and-board is free.
  2. b) Congress should enact price controls on tuition, fees, and room and board to keep the annual rate of increase at or below the rate of inflation.
  3. c) Congress should pass a law requiring that tuition costs be frozen at the rates that prevailed during the freshman year.
  4. d) Attendance at college should be mandatory so that everyone’s income will rise.
  5. e) Some combination of a), b), and c) should be adopted to improve the current system.

School Year    Tuition & Fees ($)    % Increase in Tuition & Fees     Room & Board ($)     % Increase in Room & Board

1998-1999          3640                                –                                             4985                                           –

1999-2000          3768                            3.52                                          5144                                         3.19

2000-2001              3979                        5.60                                         5342                                         3.85

2001-2002              4273                         7.39                                         5675                                         6.23

2002-2003             4686                         9.67                                         5918                                         4.28

2003-2004             5363                        14.45                                        6316                                          6.73

2004-2005             5939                         10.74                                        6649                                         5.27

2005-2006             6399                           7.75                                        7025                                         5.65

Figure 5-1

(Answer on p. 2 of the PDF)


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