Making College Affordable

Source: Dustin Weeden and Ben Schaefer, LegisBrief, Vol. 23 no. 42, November 2015

College affordability is regularly on the minds of parents, students and policymakers. In the last decade, however, concerns about college becoming unaffordable have grown as tuition increases annually outpaced inflation and stagnant family incomes limited the ability of Americans to pay for the increases. Consequently, the number of people borrowing to pay for college and the average amount they are borrowing has increased by 89 percent and 77 percent, respectively. At the same time, a postsecondary education has become increasingly important for both individuals and the economic competitiveness of the nation and individual states. The federal government and state governments have taken several actions in recent years to ensure that college remains within reach of all Americans.