I have an education savings plan for my children, so when they go to university they won't pay a dime. We live in Canada now where education is cheaper anyway, one of the many reasons why we relocated.
My own education was costly at about $60k. The specialization I went into was expensive, but with enough academic turnover that those who do graduate don't have enormous problems finding work. I did apply for grants, scholarships, etc... but my demographic did not give me access to very much.
I do think there are things that can be done to mitigate the cost of education, but we should also acknowledge the sheer amount of luck that goes into success as well. Some people do everything right and still end up bankrupt. Then there is privilege to consider. Some people have it, some people don't. Some schools have special dispensation for the poor or minorities, but on the whole you have to be born financially privileged to retain that privilege. Upward mobility is really hard. The system is mostly designed to hold back the poor.
If you have dreams of being privileged then you have to pay dearly to make those dreams come true, and in the end you wind up with the disadvantage of huge amounts of debt that still affects lack of privilege, unless, as mentioned earlier, you get lucky.
The education system in the U.S. is a crying shame. We are financially crippling the up and coming generation and enslaving them to usury before they even get their foot in the door of the job market.
A little info on college tuition inflation.
College Tuition Inflation | Satyagraha - Cultural Psychology
right now around 13k
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Anti-poverty measures put a huge limitation on a mobile work force. Young people are often trapped in economically depressed areas by a 30-40 year mortgage. Young people are rewarded with unemployment compensation which gives them little incentive to leave town. Lower salaries are subsidized through food stamps, WIC, Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, housing subsidies, Additional Child Tax Credit and other types of anti-poverty measures. These types of anti-poverty measures do not work good for the individuals receiving incentives to stay in economically depressed areas. These types of programs benefit people like you who are willing to be mobile. It limits your competition thus makes it more lucrative for you to move around from place to place.
I live in a town with a high unemployment rate. In most cases a high unemployment rate equates to low wages because many well qualified people are applying for jobs. I don't make much money but Uncle Sam makes up the difference to make my life comfortable. I plan to have my mortgage paid off in a few years. After that I should be free to travel to a more lucrative location.
Good for you brothern. Much of success to you. You seem to be very aware and sensitive to the realities of your environment.