Why is it so much harder for U students to graduate debt free compared to the ’60s?

Sep 15, 2019 by

Get the checkbook out: Fall college tuition bills are coming due, and if the number behind that dollar sign seems high, well, it is.

“I’m just appalled by what I hear these kids are getting into,” former Hopkins resident Thomas Brokl said of the student debt young people routinely take on to pay for college — typically around $25,000.

Brokl, who earned his degree from the University of Minnesota in the late 1960s, wrote in to Curious Minnesota, our community-driven reporting project, asking how tuition has changed at our flagship university since he was in school there, when he recalled paying about $150 a quarter.

His estimate isn’t far off. A full academic year at the time would have set him back just $294, according to data from the University’s Office of Institutional Research. That’s about $2,300 in today’s dollars after adjusting for inflation.

But the University of Minnesota has a price tag of $15,236 for this school year, putting the cost for four years north of $60,000. Put another way, today’s Gopher is paying over 500% more for a bachelor’s degree than Brokl did. That’s for in-state undergraduate tuition and fees, and doesn’t include housing or other living expenses.

Meanwhile, real wages for low and middle-class earners have increased 6% or less since 1979, according to a recent congressional research report.

University of Minnesota tuition up more than 200% since 1985, but increases have slowed

After adjusting for inflation to current dollars, tuition at the U hasn’t grown as much as the nationwide price index for the cost of college, but has still increased at almost twice the pace of the overall cost of living. Compared to other major categories of basic living expenses, only medical costs have increased as much.

continue: Why is it so much harder for U students to graduate debt free compared to the ’60s? – StarTribune.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.