College textbook prices and tuition fees bog down students - CBS46 News

College textbook prices and tuition fees bog down students

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A movie released this year chronicles the rapid increase in college tuition, fees and textbook costs, prompting viewers to examine the necessity of a four-year college education.

"Ivory Tower," directed by Andrew Rossi, offers a number of facts about the fundamentally flawed national higher education system, according to Brian Tallerico of rogerebert.com. "But [the film] suffers from a lack of focus or even a hint of what we do about the situation," Tallerico said.

So just what is the situation? The American Enterprise Institute used the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index (CPI) data to compile a telling image of the percent change since 1978 regarding educational books, medical services, new home prices and CPI. According to the chart, college textbook prices have increased 812 percent in the past 36 years. Medical services have increased 575 percent, new home prices increased 325 percent and the CPI increased 250 percent.

In a 2010 report from The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education six out of 10 Americans say that colleges operate more like a business, consistently worried about the bottom line, as opposed to the educational experience of their students. Further, the report highlights two intersecting perceptions that the National Center and Public Agenda has studied since 1993: The first is that a college education is more necessary now than ever and will dictate a person's success later in life. And the second perception is that college is increasingly inaccessible.

For students who do attend college, another issue is the rising amount of student loan debt. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education found that more than eight out of 10 Americans believe that students have to borrow too much to pay for their education.

Projectonstudentdebt.org crafted a report with interactive state-by-state data. The report found that seven in 10 graduated college seniors had accrued an average of $29,400 in debt. And from 2008 to 2012 debt at graduation increased an average of six percent per year. Georgia specifically has an average student loan debt of $23,089, and the proportion of graduates with debt is 59 percent.

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