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Is College Unaffordable? - In Brief

December 1, 2005


Is College Unaffordable? - In Brief

Getting Schooled

  • Rapidly rising tuition has students, parents and policymakers concerned about the affordability of a college education. They point to lagging state appropriations and a steady increase in student loans and overall debt as signs that college affordability—and access—is being compromised, particularly for students of modest means.

  • Trends suggest otherwise. Enrollment is increasing for students of all incomes, mostly because financial aid has kept pace.

  • And while many bemoan the debt accrued by students, research shows that borrowing can actually have a positive effect on persistence and graduation rates. Moreover, debt repayment after graduation remains affordable for the large majority of students.

Is College Unaffordable? [complete article]

photo of Ronald A. Wirtz
Ronald A. Wirtz
Editor, fedgazette

Ron Wirtz is a regional outreach director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Ron’s primary responsibilities involve tracking current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, along with sector-tracking in construction, real estate, consumer spending and tourism. In this role, Ron networks with local businesses in a six-state region, both in person and via various communication channels, and gathers other traditional and nontraditional sources of information to assess current business activity. Ron also gives customized speeches on regional economic activity, and handles advance planning for regular outreach trips to Ninth District communities by Bank President Neel Kashkari. Prior to this role, Ron was the long-time editor of the fedgazette, the Bank’s regional business and economics publication, where he conducted research on such topics as employment trends, health care pricing and consolidation, housing, entrepreneurship, public pensions, income mobility, the Bakken oil boom and other topics.