To the editor:
Gov. Scott recently stated that he wanted Florida colleges to provide bachelor degrees for tuition costs of $10,000. That would be very beneficial to our state and nation. It is ironic, however, for him to make that statement when he has not been willing to have increased state funding for that purpose. Spending for education especially for college by our state is vital to upward social mobility and necessary for a global economy.
Student loans have increased dramatically the past decade largely because of the reduction of state subsidizes and now are a major part of consumer debt. Total consumer debt, excluding mortgages, contract for deeds and other housing related borrowing, stands at an all time high of $2.75 trillion, that is the highest level on record. Credit card debt has fallen sharply since 2008, but student loan debt has climbed rapidly and now is near $1 trillion. Our growing consumer debt is also a matter for grave concern but gets little discussion or scrutiny our focus being on our national debt when they are interrelated.
The sharp increase in college tuition since WW II is seen by its veterans. Tuition at state universities then was under $200 a year. My tuition at the University of Minnesota Law School after using up my GI bill for my bachelor degree, was only $200 dollars which I was able to pay without borrowing money by working a night shift job. Today the tuition is over $36,000 a year because of greatly reduced state subsidies.
College education must be affordable. Our global economy today more than ever, requires a better educated America.
Arnold E. Kempe