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Re: Student debt hobbles our economy [Village News, Letter, 8/11/16]

It seems many people try to lay blame on students for their college debt. They imply that today's students are not willing to work while attending school without taking out loans.

The reality is tuition costs have skyrocketed and have not kept pace with salaries. I went to UC Irvine in the late 80s. My tuition in 1988 was $1434 a year. Minimum wage at that time was $4.25. I would need to work a total of 338 hours a year in order to pay just my tuition.

My son just entered UC San Diego. Tuition in the UC system is projected to be $13,500 this year. That is just tuition. No housing is included in that figure. Minimum wage is currently $10 an hour. My son would need to work a total of 1,350 hours a year in order to pay just his tuition.

Tuition has increased 841 percent since 1988. However, the minimum wage is only a little more than twice what it was in 1988.

I agree with Mr. Terrell that student loan debt is shocking and a huge economic burden to both the individual and the nation. I just hope he is calling for the "good old days" of when tuition and a college education was in the economic reach of your average, middle class student. Many college students are working and going to school at the same time, but it's just not enough to cover all the costs.

Stephanie Lamm
 

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