The Decline of Public Higher Education

February 19, 2007

Over the last quarter century, Americans got used to the idea of their children going on to colleges and universities. In the early 1970s, about 8.5 million Americans attended such institutions; by 2004 the number had doubled. The US population across this time rose by less than 50%. This spectacular growth in our student population reflected the pent-up demand of the mass of Americans for what they had viewed as a luxury as well as a ticket to better jobs and higher incomes.

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