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Ultimately, college is expensive in the U. The same is true when it comes to health care in most developed countries, where a centralized government authority contains the prices. So Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals—and for college classes. Meanwhile, more and more of the risk gets shifted from government onto families, in both sectors. At the very least, the American government could do a better job sharing information about the quality of colleges in ways everyone can understand, Schleicher says. S pending a lot of money can be worth it, if you get something awesome in exchange.

Former President Barack Obama said the same thing before him. But is it actually true? No meaningful data exist on the quality of universities globally. America does have a disproportionate number of elite colleges, which accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants, and these places do employ some brilliant scholars who do groundbreaking research. But fewer than 1 percent of American students attend highly selective colleges like those. Instead, more than three-quarters of students attend nonselective colleges, which admit at least half of their applicants.

No one knows for sure how good these colleges are at their core job of educating students. In other words, they did only slightly better than high-school graduates in Finland. If American colleges are not adding obvious and consistent academic value, they are adding financial value. Americans with college degrees earn 75 percent more than those who only completed high school.

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In fact, no other country rewards a college degree as richly as the United States, and few other countries punish people so relentlessly for not having one. But those higher salaries make college degrees extremely valuable, which means Americans will pay a lot to get them. And so colleges can charge more. Still, the return varies wildly depending on the college one attends.

7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a College Education

One in four college grads earns no more than the average high-school graduate. And two-thirds of students at for-profits drop out before earning their degree anyway, meaning many will spend years struggling with debt they cannot afford to pay off—and cannot, under U. This convoluted, complicated, inconsistent system continues to exist, and continues to be so expensive because college in America is still worth the price. At certain colleges, for certain people. Especially if they finish. The automobile took over because the legal system helped squeeze out the alternatives.


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In a country where the laws compel the use of cars, Americans are condemned to lose friends and relatives to traffic violence. My childhood neighbor was a varsity student-athlete, the president of the junior class, and the most popular girl in school. One day in September , a car crash took her life. She had been driving home on the freeway when her car went across the median and collided with one going the opposite direction, killing both drivers.

A third vehicle was said to have struck her car moments before, causing her to lose control. The police put out a call for information, apparently without success. But at the time, it felt like a basically unavoidable tragedy. In our small city in Michigan—like almost everywhere in America—driving is the price of first-class citizenship.


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  6. We never stopped to ask whether a different bargain was possible. Since her passing, approximately 1 million more Americans have been killed in car crashes. Unlike immigrants, natural-born citizens such as Carlson are neither screened nor forced to pass a citizenship test nor made to swear an oath.

    A few years ago, Maya Nanda began noticing a strange pattern among her patients.

    7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a College Education

    These young patients seemed anxious when they were discussing their symptoms, and they would often say they felt worried too. When one patient who had asthma complained of shortness of breath, Nanda discovered he was actually having a panic attack. In , Nanda and her colleagues published a study that found that among 7-year-olds, allergies were indeed associated with depression, anxiety, and symptoms such as being withdrawn. Kids with hay fever had a threefold risk of depression and anxiety. Recently, more evidence has supported this link—and not just in children.

    A study of German adults that came out in April also found that generalized anxiety was associated with seasonal allergies. In the early grades, U. The results are devastating, especially for poor kids. A t first glance, the classroom I was visiting at a high-poverty school in Washington, D. The teacher sat at a desk in the corner, going over student work, while the first graders quietly filled out a worksheet intended to develop their reading skills.

    As I looked around, I noticed a small girl drawing on a piece of paper. Ten minutes later, she had sketched a string of human figures, and was busy coloring them yellow. Running down the left side of the worksheet was a list of reading-comprehension skills: finding the main idea, making inferences, making predictions.

    The girl was pointing to the phrase draw conclusions. She was supposed to be making inferences and drawing conclusions about a dense article describing Brazil, which was lying facedown on her desk. But she was unaware that the text was there until I turned it over. More to the point, she had never heard of Brazil and was unable to read the word.

    A series of high-profile prosecutions highlights the impunity that the rich have long enjoyed. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life. In fact, they were widely known. There have, of course, been massive changes to the institution over the past few generations, leading the occasional cultural critic to ask: Is marriage becoming obsolete? But few of these people seem genuinely interested in the answer. More often the question functions as a kind of rhetorical sleight of hand, a way of stirring up moral panic about changing family values or speculating about whether society has become too cynical for love.

    In popular culture, the sentiment still prevails that marriage makes us happy and divorce leaves us lonely, and that never getting married at all is a fundamental failure of belonging. No one! Reed is partially right; for many evangelical Christians, there is no political figure whom they have loved more than Donald Trump. He spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, so as to avoid personal or professional repercussions. He had interviewed scores of people, many of them evangelical Christians.

    Wronged by Mueller, wronged by the media, wronged by the anti-Trump forces. A passionate belief that he never gets credit for anything. The notoriously quiet Supreme Court justice has had a far-reaching influence on the personnel of the Trump administration, which may be his most lasting legacy. Clarence Thomas is the longest-serving justice currently sitting on the Supreme Court. In the public imagination, he is most remembered for his worst moment. And yet, during his time on the Court, Thomas has written prolifically and introduced ideas that have gradually gained influence among other justices.

    Of all the Supreme Court justices, Thomas takes an approach to the law that is arguably the purest embodiment of the conservative judicial philosophies known as textualism, which holds that the plain meaning of the text of a law is all that matters in judicial interpretation, and originalism, which holds that the Constitution should be interpreted only as its authors intended. On October 31, , a young naturalist named Charles Darwin walked onto the deck of the HMS Beagle and realized that the ship had been boarded by thousands of intruders.

    Tiny red spiders, each a millimeter wide, were everywhere.

    Choosing a Cheaper College

    The ship was 60 miles offshore, so the creatures must have floated over from the Argentinian mainland. Spiders have no wings, but they can take to the air nonetheless. This behavior is called ballooning. It might carry spiders away from predators and competitors, or toward new lands with abundant resources.

    Spiders have been found two-and-a-half miles up in the air, and 1, miles out to sea. Theresa May did everything she could to accommodate Donald Trump. She was the first leader to visit him after he became president. She offered him a state visit to the United Kingdom at a much earlier stage in his tenure than his predecessors had received one.

    She uttered nary a word of criticism of his administration. In the 10 years ending in , college tuition and fees rose 63 percent, or three times the rate of everything else tracked by the Consumer Price Index, the U.

    Why College Is So Expensive In America

    Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Today, however, because of a decline in the number of to year-olds and an improving economy that is sucking people straight into the workforce, colleges have 2. Related: Eligible for financial aid, nearly a million students never get it. Meanwhile, almost seven in 10 parents said in a survey that they had eliminated colleges from consideration for their children because of the cost. In another survey , only 44 percent of Americans said private, nonprofit universities and colleges are worth what they charge.

    Old Dominion University is lowering the price of undergraduate tuition for active-duty military service members. Champlain College cut tuition in half for students in its online program, part of a strategy to increase enrollment. The University of Colorado at Boulder is eliminating millions of dollars in student fees. Several public universities are among those responding to a declining supply of students by freezing or reducing their prices. Concerned about Illinois high school graduates leaving for colleges in other states, the University of Illinois system is in the fourth year of a tuition freeze.

    The University of Colorado has cut fees. Five South Dakota universities are offering lower in-state tuition this fall to freshmen and transfer students from Nebraska; the University of Nebraska at Kearney will extend the deal next year to residents of Colorado and Kansas. The University of Missouri-Kansas City, meanwhile, is offering lower resident tuition to students from Kansas and other midwestern states. Some of the seeming price drops are sleight of hand. And as the stream of students has dried up, those discounts have been getting deeper.

    Colleges like Mills are simply changing their advertised prices to something closer to the average of what students actually pay, though Mills says most students will still see their costs decline. Related: With enrollment sliding, liberal arts colleges struggle to make a case for themselves. Birmingham-Southern spent 14 months doing research before cutting its tuition, said President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith. The 1,student Alabama college, which was already giving its students discounts that reduced its advertised price by an average of more than two-thirds, found that 80 percent of local families would not consider a college with tuition as high as the amount it said it charged.

    If I can get into Princeton, why would I choose Drew? Several private colleges have seen such price cuts pay off quickly. Utica College, which reduced its tuition in , lowered its dropout rate, President Laura Casamento said. Related: Embattled colleges focus on an obvious fix: helping students graduate on time. The last time this happened on a large scale was when law schools froze or lowered their tuition beginning in in response to a dramatic enrollment decline that followed a downturn in the demand for lawyers.

    One reason private colleges have not cut prices in the past is because families equated high prices with high quality. That attitude appears to be changing: Student loan provider Sallie Mae found last year that families were less likely than in to perceive expensive colleges as necessarily being better than less-expensive ones. Yet when the University of Charleston in West Virginia cut prices by more than 20 percent in — and cut scholarships too — the small private college suffered an unexpected sharp drop in enrollment.

    The school quickly reversed course, in , by raising tuition sharply and reinstating scholarships, and its enrollment bounced back.