Lines drawn in tuition battle

It seems like every year there is some battle being waged on Capitol Hill regarding the topic of higher education. And again, we are fighting about the same issue.
Federal student loan rates are about to double again when a year ago Congress diverted the problem by only a year. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
We are now faced with the same problem, one that will increase the debt of the average student who has taken out federal loans by $1,000. But what is another $1,000 when the average student has taken out $26,000 already?
Recent remarks made by President Obama at the White House tell of the same tale. The usual trope of a constant battle to keep higher education affordable to the public while slashing its funding, so much so that colleges and universities around the nation are starting to resemble a dead carcass on the roadside being picked apart by vultures. These are the same vultures that would rather take your money now and later.
The road to graduation looks rosier for Southeastern students, now, than most. A recent report by AffordableCollegesOnline.org rated Southeastern in the top 60 of four-year institutions across the nation in terms of how low tuition was (below $5,000) and how high the average starting salary of graduates is (above $40,000). Southeastern’s average of graduating salaries just makes the mark at $40,200, but it is the tuition, which will cost in-state students $3,393, that is the second lowest of the schools in Louisiana.
“Southeastern has always been known for being a good value with its relatively low tuition rates and strong academic programs. Now the data shows that our graduates are also being valued and recognized by employers with relatively high average starting salaries,” stated Southeastern President John L. Crain in a press release about the report.
For an average student who would attend Southeastern for four years, if assuming the tuition would stay at the current listed amount, this would mean the cost for attending Southeastern would add up to $27,144.
We are on the lower end of cost compared to many other schools in the nation, and these numbers do suggest that employers are beginning to value our degrees more. But that has always been the case.
According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the average unemployment rate for 2011 young college graduates was at 8.8 percent, compared to 19.1 percent for young high school graduates.
The value of a college degree has never been in question. It is the means that families and young adults have to take in order to make the decision to become a college graduate. Americans should not be entitled to a higher education, but it should be a realistic goal, one that does not ruin their financial livelihood after graduation.