Permanent Debt Bondage from America's Student Loan Racket - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article compared the 1950s to today, saying:
It was a different time, good and bad. Elected in 1952, Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175, astonishing but true.
America was unchallenged economically, its manufacturing base offering high paying/good benefits jobs. Union representation was high. Southern and northern US cities were segregated. They still are, all 1960s civil rights gains lost plus most good jobs and benefits. Alaska and Hawaii additions grew America to 50 states.
The Korean War left an unsettled armistice. Cold War politics settled in. Developing "mutually assured destruction (MAD)" and accommodation prevented WW III. Censure ruined Joe McCarthy, and by May 1957 he was dead at age 48. The CIA's first coup deposed Iran's Mohammad Mosaddegh. A generation of terror followed. A year later, another toppled Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, fueling decades of genocide against its indigenous peoples.
Throughout the decade, few followed Vietnam events, its defeat of France, and America's growing involvement in what became three decades of war. Palestinian Territories weren't occupied, and during the period Israel was young, growing, but mostly out of the news and public mind. Times indeed changed, for the worse, not better, including college tuition costs.
Harvard tuition for the 2010/2011 academic year is $35,568. Add room, board, health insurance fees, books and supplies, local transportation (if needed), plus miscellaneous and personal expenses raises the total to nearly $60,000. Moreover, with annual tuition/fees hikes, incoming freshmen may need $70,000 for senior year expenses.
According to an October 28 Los Angeles Times article titled, "College costs increase faster than inflation:"
"State budget cuts and declines in philanthropy and endowments help push (college tuition costs) up much higher than general inflation across the country this year, amounting to an increase of 7.9% at public campuses and 4.5% at private ones, according to a new study by the nonprofit College Board."
In fact, some schools, like the University of California, raised fees by 32%, then announced a further 8% hike. The University of Illinois announced a 9.5% increase. Other public and private schools followed suit, some by over 10% when fewer students can pay it. The College Board said for the decade ending in 2008, tuitions rose 54% after 49% in the previous decade.
Student Loans/Debt Information
The Project Student Debt web site (http://www.projectonstudentdebt.org/) has a wealth of information on student loans and debt. Using US Department of Education data for the 2007/08 academic year (the most recent available), it said two-thirds (or 1.4 million) of 2008 college graduates had student loan debt, a 27% increase from 2004, breaking down as follows:
-- at public universities, it was 62%;
-- for private nonprofit ones, 72%; and
-- at private for-profit institutions, 96% were debt entrapped.
In 2008, graduating seniors had an average debt burden of $23,200, a 24% increase from $18,650 in 2004. At public universities, it was $20,200. For private nonprofit ones, $27,650, and at private for-profit universities, $33,050.