Why Does College Cost So Much, and Is It Worth It?

A FOX News Poll recently asked: Do you think a college education is more or less important to succeeding in life today compared to 25 years ago? Eighty-five percent of Americans said it was more important — a position most experts will agree with.

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:

Why does college cost so much? And is it worth it?

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.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is a political contributor for the FOX News Channel. Click here to read more of his bio.

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich. His latest book is "Understanding Trump."