College Tuition Costs Up 600%, DE Legislator Looks For Solutions - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

College Tuition Costs Up 600%, DE Legislator Looks For Solutions

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DELAWARE - The cost of college tuition is up almost 600% in the last 30 years, now twice the rate of healthcare cost inflation and four times the cost of the average household income. However, in Delaware, Congressman John Carney met with parents of current and recent high school students, high school guidance counselors, and a college financial aid officer on Monday to discuss the problem, and look for solutions.

"I think it's more of a problem than its ever been," says Carney.

While the cost of higher education continues to rise, so does the competition in the job market, and Carney says it is important now more than ever to get a college education.

"If students are going to be successful in the world and have a good job, and be able to support a middle class family, they have to have a college degree."

Yvonne Johnson, president of the Delaware Parent Teachers' Association, says one of the main problems is that parents do not understand what their kids really need in order to get into college both academically and financially. She describes the process of applying for scholarships and student loans, as very "daunting."

"It's so complicated. Some of its student loans, some of its parents loans, some of its aid, and its really hard to read this."

Johnson says communication and information is the best way to get parents educated on this issue, and the PTA wants to work with Carney's office, and plan something along the lines of a "College Night," but for parents with children of all ages.

"We want to invite all parents to come, not just high school parents, but middle school parents too. I know middle school parents think that they don't have to worry about it yet, but its our job to make sure that they do know about it."

Carney says his office is discussing plans to partner up with the PTA and other parent and student groups to help get more information out. He says he will also talk to college and university administrators to get a handle on the challenges that they face, and find out what is driving higher education costs.

"Then we'll try to come up with ideas to shape federal policies, so we can make college more accessible to students at every income level and more affordable for families."

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