President Obama was too soft in the declaration of war (and peace treaty terms) he issued to university administrators over the spiraling cost of college education. Rather than simply demanding that tuition stops rising, he should have challenged universities to answer why the very best education – the type he got – should cost students any more than $6,700 a year.
Student debt is a problem. A recent College Board report found that tuition and fees at public universities went up 8.3% in 2011 (twice the rate of inflation) to an average of $8,244, and private colleges 4.5% to an average of $28,500. At a time when the economy is in the doldrums and even bankers are being forced to take pay cuts, universities are still charging like it's 1999.