A recent report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity found that the median household income in the United States has stagnated for the past 30 years, and that the gap between rich and poor has increased for a second straight year.
“As college costs and debt continue to rise, college attendance rates are trending downward, which is a problem for students and parents,” the report stated.
“This trend is likely to worsen in the coming years as the cost of tuition, room and board, and other costs continue to increase.”
The report was written by The Brookings Institution and Brookings Public Policy Institute, and was released Wednesday, a week after President Donald Trump signed a budget that cuts the Federal Government’s budget for student aid by more than $50 billion.
As a result of the budget, the number of students at public colleges and universities nationwide will fall by more.
According to the report, the median income at public four-year colleges and high schools has fallen by more the past decade than the national median income.
The report estimates that this drop is due in part to the drop in the share of families with incomes between $75,000 and $125,000, which has decreased from 60 percent to 30 percent since the 1970s.
This is a particularly troubling trend for students, who are not only expected to pay more than they did before the recession, but also face an ever-rising cost of college.
The number of student loans currently outstanding at public college has increased by more, and the median interest rate on these loans is now $3,900.
If the average student who matriculates to college still only owes $24,000 on their student loans, that equates to about $9,800 a year.
“For parents who have already paid off their student debt, these changes in student aid policy can be a major concern,” the Brookings report stated, adding that this will mean that many parents will be forced to make difficult decisions about how to invest their hard-earned money.
With the current debt crisis, many parents are already considering how to fund their children’s college educations.
With the growing cost of attendance, the Brookings authors stated that it is important that college remains affordable for students who are already financially stretched.
More than 50 percent of households that receive Pell Grants for low-income students receive no financial aid at all, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The authors also stated that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has suggested that it could be necessary to raise interest rates on existing student loans by more to help students who need additional assistance to pay for their education.
Despite these dire financial circumstances, the report also found that Americans have embraced a new level of education, and are willing to pay higher prices for college.
According to the Brookings, the percentage of Americans that say they are willing or able to pay an additional $100 or more a year to attend college has jumped to 50 percent from 40 percent.
More than a third of Americans now say they want to attend a public college or university for the first time in their lives, and nearly half of those who say they would like to attend one of these institutions say they plan to pay a higher price for their school compared to a private school.
It is likely that higher tuition costs will continue to affect students and their families.
In addition, the cost to attend public college could become more expensive as the nation’s population ages, with more students likely to be living in poverty as they get older.
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