New Report: The High Cost of Higher Education

Posted by on February 2, 2009

PPC publishes report on college affordability

Three-quarters of the jobs of the future require postsecondary education, but less than half of today’s workforce has the skills and education to fill the jobs.  While postsecondary education is a goal for many students, college is financially out of reach for many Pennsylvania families, according to report released by PA Partnerships for Children.

Statewide, about 265,000 people of college age – 18 to 21 – live in families with annual income less than $41,000 for a family of four.  Lower income families must dedicate a higher percentage of their annual income to pay for school than moderate and higher income families.

Before student loans, families making $20,000 or less with a dependent student attending a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institution must devote an average of 73 percent of their income to pay for college.  Families making $60,000 with a dependent student attending a PASSHE school must pay almost one-quarter of their income in college costs.

Loans are a necessity for many college students to attend college, but they can be a financial burden.  In 2007, 71 percent of college students in Pennsylvania graduated with an average loan debt of nearly $24,000.

For more information or to download the report, click here.

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