But does that justify the skyrocketing cost of higher education?
Join me, Newt Gingrich, for an hour long special on FOX News this Saturday 4pm ET as we seek answers to the questions:
Before I ran for Congress, I was a professor at West Georgia College. A lot has changed about college since then — most noticeably, the cost of tuition.
Twenty five years ago, the average cost of tuition at a private college was approximately $3,600 per year. For public universities, it was less than half that, $1,600 per year. Today, the average price of tuition at a public university has ballooned to more than $12,000 per year and private colleges now average $29,000 per year. Some reach as high as $40,000 or $50,000 per year.
That means the price of a college education has gone up far faster than inflation. It's gone up faster than the price of health insurance. And most importantly, it's gone up much faster than the average family's ability to pay. Families are taking out second and third mortgages and postponing their retirement by ten years. Graduates are saddled with debt — sometimes over $100,000.
This shocking increase doesn't just affect college-bound students and their families. Taxpayers subsidize higher education to the tune of tens of billions a year.
In this hour-long special, we'll talk to experts in education and financial planning to find out the cause of skyrocketing tuition. Is your tuition money being squandered? Plus, we'll examine if college is worth the cost anymore.
We'll also follow the Patterson family as they visit different colleges with their daughter Jenna Patterson and struggle with the promise of a top-notch education and the realities of a family's finances.
Newt Gingrich, a Republican, was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He is the author of the new novel "Treason" (Center Street, October 11) and co-author, with his wife Callista Gingrich, of "Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History and Future" (Center Street, May 17, 2016).