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    By Rachel Jankowski, Young America's Foundation Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar

    As the cost of higher education continues to rise exponentially, more students have been cutting expenses and opting to stay home to save money. Can you blame them?

    While the number of people enrolling in colleges has increased, those actually receiving degrees are declining. Only 25% of college students are enrolled full-time at residential colleges. Now, students are working more and taking even longer to get their degree, if they even get it.

    The amount of students enrolling in community colleges has risen over the past few years. However, this year the numbers are starting to wane and even decline. Students know the value of higher education, but as tuition costs escalate, they are starting to wonder if it is as valuable as the price tag they are paying.

    How are students supposed to pay for their everyday expenses--let alone their education?

    And, what exactly is Obama administration's solution? The administration supposedly beloved by young people surely must have an answer.

    Not really. Recently, the president signed a bill to keep the student loan interest rates at 3.4%. This seems to be great news for college students already swimming in debt, but it only further kicks the problem down the road-nothing new for this administration.

    His solution does not get to the root of the problem. It only exacerbates it. Since 1991-the year an incoming college senior was born- tuition has risen nearly 300%! Tuition prices have skyrocketed, making higher education economically unattainable for many people. If tuition goes up another 300% in the next 20 years, will anyone be able to afford it?

    From the young age of 18, students are learning to just pile on debt, hoping someday it will get paid off. Low interest rates help students feel like their unsustainable burden is not that bad. Rather than seriously thinking about such an expensive purchase, young people rack up mounds of debt because they feel they will not be able to succeed otherwise. Student loan debt in the United States amounts to $1trillion, surpassing credit card debt for the first time in history.

    Until higher education makes their product worthwhile and affordable, students will continue to cut back on education expenses. 

    Rachel Jankowski is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar at Young America's Foundation. 

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