There's little debate that higher education in the United States is not only quite expensive, but getting more so at a rapid rate. The average total cost for one year of college is now over $21,000, while the average private school costs nearly $33,000. By comparison, the median household income is around $50,000. What's more, while household net worth fell about 40% from 2007 to 2010, the cost of higher education rose about 10%. In a normal market, high costs are supposed to reduce demand. However, higher education isn't a normal market. Not only does the federal government get involved in the form of grants, subsidized loans and other kinds of assistance, but there is a widespread viewpoint that higher education is essential to future success in life. Consequently, students have little choice but to figure out some way to pay for their education.
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