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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Education » Educational Policy » General

Breaking Point

The College Affordability Crisis and Our Next Financial Bubble

By Kevin W. Connell

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Format: Hardcover, 164 pages
Published In: United States, 23 September 2016
In recent decades, the crisis of college affordability has emerged as one of the defining challenges of our era. Since 1978, college tuition and fees have soared by 1,120 percent, growing at three times the rate of housing prices and four times the rate of the increase in the hourly wage. The inevitable consequence has resulted in a national student debt that surpassed $1.3 trillion in 2015, crushing the average household under $35,000 in student debt. Breaking Point explains flaws in the structure of higher education that have caused college prices to soar over our lifetime, including "prestige maximization," a perpetual "amenities war," and a predatory lending industry that has not only fostered but encouraged the explosion of college costs. To counter this trend, Kevin Connell proposes several bold solutions that are intended to induce colleges and lenders alike to redefine the structure, price, and ultimate purpose of higher education in America.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: The Ticking Time Bomb Chapter 1: Sowing the Seeds of Crisis Chapter 2: Tanked By Rank Chapter 3: Penniless for Perks Chapter 4: Lending Roots: Inception of Greed Chapter 5: Sallie Mae: The Rise of a Lending Empire Chapter 6: Rigged Chapter 7: Breaking Backs to Balance Budgets Chapter 8: A Stake in the Game Chapter 9: The New American College & University

About the Author

Kevin is a native resident of Rochester, New York, where he earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester. After graduating cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester in 2015, Kevin now attends William & Mary Law School, where he is expected to graduate in 2018 with the intent to practice law and enter politics.


This thoughtful and provocative book highlights the problems that contribute to intolerable debt burdens and limited job prospects for too many students. Kevin Connell makes an important contribution to the debate on how we can improve our global competitiveness while satisfying the legitimate needs of students who are poorly served by today's education-financial complex. -- Thomas Stanton, fellow at the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University, former head of the Office of Policy Planning of the Federal Trade Commission Kevin Connell has covered new ground and uncovered old problems in his incisive analysis of what ails higher education. This is a great read for anyone interested in the growing crisis in American universities arising out of an increasingly perverse economic environment in which schools operate. -- Richard Vedder, director of The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University Amid our then-rising space race and international conflict with the Soviet Union, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act in 1958 to make college affordable and available. Aimed at "strengthening the economy, improving innovation, and ensuring national security," this cost-effective program helped America compete globally. It also helped millions reach the sprawling middle class and realize their life's ambition. Spurning this simple and practical objective, however, universities, college financial lenders, and an indifferent Congress have let college pricing explode in recent decades, forgetting the students they exist to serve. Breaking Point is a well-researched book which seeks to right this program's wrongs, thus ensuring that college students receive college degrees that once again help graduates achieve the American Dream. -- Curt Smith, former speechwriter to President George H. W. Bush; author of Voices of the Game; regular columnist for GateHouse Media Inc. newspapers

EAN: 9781475826029
ISBN: 1475826028
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Education
Dimensions: 23.11 x 15.24 x 1.78 centimetres (0.41 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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