For the first time, student debt due to higher education costs is higher than credit card debt at $829 billion, and this year’s graduating class is the most indebted class ever, according to Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.
“This is not an inconsequential concern,” she said, “because you have to juxtapose this very real strain that families and students face with the strains that institutions face as well at the same time; and factor into that the fact that we’re telling everyone that they need post-secondary credentials of some sort for this new economy…”
Lubbers’ factoid isn’t exactly novel, but it takes on new meaning framed against another year of tuition hikes at both Indiana University and Purdue University. Counting a new fee for building maintenance, this year’s increases at IU Bloomington exceeded recommended limits on tuition hikes the Indiana Commission for Higher Education had set back in May.
IU vice president and chief financial officer Neil Theobald told the Noon Edition audience the newly-approved budget for 2011-12 includes more money for financial aid to students, meaning the average cost of education should decrease next year.