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The Burdens of Youth

12:21 PM, Mar 6, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Higher education is expensive and getting more so, as Ruth Simon reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The average amount that students at public colleges paid in tuition, after state and institutional grants and scholarships, climbed 8.3% last year, the biggest jump on record, according to a report based on data from all public institutions in all 50 states to be released Wednesday by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Median tuition rose 4.5%.

For many, many young people, one certain outcome of spending four, or more, years acquiring a degree is ... debt.  More than a trillion dollars worth.  This is more than what Americans hold in total credit card debt.  It is also, as the FT reports, a "drag on the recovery."

To which many who struggle with that debt, not least because they cannot find employment of the sort a degree was supposed to guarantee them, might ask: "What recovery?"

If there is one, that would be news to many young people.  As Terence D. Grado reported recently in the Washington Times:

If you factor in the more than 1.7 million young people who have simply given up looking for work because opportunities are so scarce, the effective unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-olds is a stunning 16.3 percent. Last year, Rutgers University found that half of recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed. Further, Pew found that among all millennials, only 30 percent consider their current job a career. In other words, working part time for a few weeks during Christmas not cutting it — millennials want real jobs that put them on an actual career path.

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