In a report that is a study in obviousness for most families currently putting kids through college, a new report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education suggests that soaring college costs threaten to make college unaffordable for the majority of Americans.

College tuition and fees rose 439% from 1982 to 2007 while the median family income rose just 147%, without adjusting for inflation.

What is to be done? In recent years, students and families have been financing college with debt, and the federal government has been making this possible with increased in various federal loan programs. The government is trying to help students but the reality is that they're making it worse. By offering ever-increasing amounts of debt to families all too willing to take it, our elected officials are eliminating the natural ceiling on price, allowing colleges to continue to manage their costs irresponsibly. There is no good reason that college costs should be rising so fast except that they can.

With the recession socking it to state aid for public colleges and hefty losses for endowments at private colleges, the college cost picture is about to get a lot worse.

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