The financial crisis of 2008 and the resultant global economic recession has resulted in a more challenging job market and lower real incomes for many Americans. These conditions are bringing to the forefront a broad-based national discussion about higher education. Students, future students, in addition to parents, educators, recent college graduates, and public officials are asking more questions about the value of higher education relative to its costs and its outcomes. A few of these questions Include: Why has the price of higher education increased a lot more than inflation over the past several decades? Are future higher education costs expected to continue to rise at the same rate? What are the long-term social and economic effects of the increasing student loan debt, which is now approaching $1.2 trillion? Why are such a lot of recent college graduates having difficulty finding good paying jobs? Why is the U.S. falling in the back of other countries in higher educational achievement whilst spending a lot more per student? Is a college education necessary to earn a good living and lead a fulfilling life? Are there some alternatives to going to college? What is the primary purpose of higher education? What college must I attend? Does it matter? Are online courses and programs an effective way to earn a college degree? Can I go to college without incurring student loan debt? These and other questions are being asked more incessantly and by a broader range of people as our global economy continues to make the transition from one of decades of high-growth to likely decades of more moderate growth.
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