Why Johnny Can Go to College

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What's higher education to do, beset with stories of rising tuition, bad press about 'How Colleges are Gouging You' and threats of congressional action? Release a study, of course, that says it's really not as bad as you think. It's titled "Too Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing," but the subtext is "Hey, wait a minute -- we're not the bad guys here." The study put out by the American Council on Education says that while Americans think yearly tuition at a community college is $4,026, it's actually only an eminently reasonable $1,501, or about how much a used '91 Escort would set you back. And four-year State U. is an even better deal -- while we think it's $9,694 for an in-state student (must be confusing Penn with Penn State), it's really only $3,111. Looks like we can send both kids to school after all, Martha.

All of which seems like a bargain, unless you consider that junior colleges and most four-year state schools spend much of the first two years (or $6,222 at Big State) teaching what students would have learned if their public high schools were worth anything at all. Now, making that happen would be a real bargain.