With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity.
"It just became clear that if we continue to give more and more aid, the numbers don't add up," says Raynard Kington, head of Grinnell College. Thanks to longtime former board member Warren Buffett, Grinnell has an endowment bigger than most schools dream of. For years, that's enabled Grinnell to admit students on a need-blind basis — and then give them as much aid as they need.
Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?
Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:38 am
Credit Lam Thuy Vo / NPR
Students pay much more for a college education in the U.S. than they do in most other countries. But they also get a bigger return on their investment.
Here's a graphical breakdown comparing the cost and the payoff for a college education.
A few notes:
The data come from a recently published OECD report looking at educational data around the world. The cost of education includes tuition fees and living costs paid by the student, as well as earnings that students forgo by not working while they're in school.
Screencap from Al Jazeera's report on Metro State's tuition
Metro State University caused a furor among opponents and some lawmakers with the announcement of their new tuition policy for illegal immigrants this summer. Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports on the policy now that classes are back in session.