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Posted: Tuesday, 13 August 2013 9:28AM

College degrees prove valuable, but cost keeps climbing

College students are gearing up to head back to school.  The federal government says getting a degree increases your average earnings by about $30,000 per year.

"Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor's had mean earnings of $70,459. Mean earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma (includes GED certificate) was $40,634, while workers with less than a ninth grade education had $26,545 average earnings," the Census website says.

The problems is that the cost of getting that college degree keeps increasing.

Since 2008, higher education in Louisiana has seen nearly a $700 million cut in state funding, which has led to budget cuts on campuses and steady hikes in tuition and fees.

Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley calls on higher education leaders to come together and present the legislature with ways to adequately fund public colleges and universities. Kleckley says he's open to ideas.

"Explore all solutions and all possibilities to ensure our higher education systems are funded at a level that allows them to effectively educate the people of Louisiana," Kleckley said.  "I'm asking the presidents, I'm asking the boards of supervisors, I'm asking the different groups to come up with your solution, you sit down at the table and you come up with a solution and present it us."
Higher education leaders have been asking for greater control over tuition costs, but that idea has been rejected by the legislature. Kleckley says state lawmakers are not going to grant that request, unless certain performance standards are met.

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Topics : EducationPoliticsSocial Issues
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Locations : Louisiana
People : Chuck Kleckley
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