Further proving the importance of continuing one's education beyond high school are the findings of a 2010 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which revealed that by 2018, 23% of the workforce will be required to hold a bachelor's degree.
Former Republican Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici and former Clinton administration Budget Director Alice Rivlin, co-chairs of a Bipartisan Policy Center debt reduction task force, issued a 2.0 version of their plan that attempts to thread the needle between what they say is the short-term need for more economic stimulus and concern for slowing the growth of the $16.2 trillion national debt.
With the average cost of a bachelor's degree now running about $68,500 at State U. and $154,300 at a private college, one might well wonder if the investment is worthwhile. In short, it is. But the return very much depends on your major.
Rather than view additional pathways to their institutions as new competitors, colleges should see them as ways to improve their own completion rates, expand educational opportunities to more students and provide the American economy with the skilled work force of tomorrow.
America's growing student debt burden is due to price hikes, sure, but it's also the result of increased costs of living and the fact that more and more students are heading to campus. And ultimately, we're not yet at the point where those with the ability to graduate are really being priced out of an education. The trick is making sure we don't get there.
The fiscal cliff creates an enormous opportunity to end an era in which it was never, ever permissible to raise taxes. In the pre-Grover days, conservatives believed passionately in pay-as-you-go government. A tough stand by progressives will make it easier for conservatives to return to the path of fiscal responsibility.