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Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 2/5

15 Aug

Today, student loans are the largest source of financial aid for college. Since the mid-1970s, when student borrowing started to grow, loans have increased from about one-fifth to nearly two-fifths of all available student aid—from 20% to 40%, a hundred percent increase.

A half century after the initial GI Bill, three decades since the establishment of federally guaranteed student loans, and more than two decades following the creation of a national basic grant program, both the central commitment to federal support for higher education and the mechanisms of such support are under attack.

There are choices to make. One choice is to serve the United States and earn the financial aid of the GI Bill.

Fifty-one percent (6.2 million) of World War II veterans used the GI Bill to attend college.

Forty-three percent (114,000)  of Korean War Veterans and Seventy-two percent (1.9 million) of Vietnam Veterans.

For college students that do not want to join the US Military, what is fueling this media/Blog assault on colleges and student loans?

“In the 1970s, family income levels increased faster than tuition; growth in student aid outstripped both tuition increases and growth in the number of eligible students; and grant aid was more common than borrowing.

“All these trend lines, however, turned against college affordability in the 1980s and 1990s. Family income has generally remained flat (when inflation is factored in) and has been far outpaced by tuition increases, which at both public and private four-year institutions have averaged at least twice the rate of inflation since 1980. Tuitions have risen annually by more than 8 percent over this period, while annual growth in the Consumer Price Index has averaged about 4 percent. Public sector prices have increased most sharply in the 1990s, rising at 3 times the rate of inflation as the economy and revenues in most states have declined.” Source: Federal Student Aid Policy: A History and an Assessment

Continued August 16, 2012 in Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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