New Wyden bill focuses on costs of college

New Wyden bill focuses on costs of college

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by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

kgw.com

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM

PORTLAND -- Concerned that college students are taking on too much debt, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden introduced a bill requiring schools to post the total cost of their education and the amount of money students can expect to make when they graduate.

“I think we all understand that higher education is the ticket to success. Yet it is not always clear how much that ticket is going to cost or where it is going to take you,” Sen. Wyden said.

At Portland State University Monday, a vocal group was singing to a lunch-time crowd about a guy who spent all his money on a girl.

Money is a topic on the mind of many college students.

One of the singers was Ian Adams-Dirks, a man who loves music. He’s attending PSU as he chases his dream of earning a college degree and one day, leading a high school choir.

He knows the dream is not cheap. “It's gonna cost me at least $80,000 and I will be lucky to be making about $20,000 a year, if I get a job, and that's 'if,'" he said.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports the cost of an undergraduate degree at the country's public schools went up 37% from 1999 to 2009, totaling nearly $13,000 a year. The cost at private schools climbed at the same time by 25%, to total more than $32,000.

Ask any student near any college campus and you'll find an awareness of the cost of higher education. But for some, like Adams-Dirks, it's an expense that seems worth it now, even as it piles up for the future. “Yah. It is a lot of money, very, very much a lot of money,” he said with a smile.

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