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Burden of student debt

On November 30, The Spokesman-Review featured a timely article on the “debt of becoming a doctor”. It stated that, in 2016 the median debt of medical students four years after graduation was $190,000. While this excessive, it begs for comparison with the median debt incurred by family members four years after graduation from public universities. Since 1952, the annual cost of tuition for a public college/university education has increased at least 50-fold.

When I started my doctoral studies at UCLA in 1952, there was no undergraduate tuition for residents at any of the premier University of California campuses and almost all of the public tuition burden in the nation was borne by the states. Now much of the cost of tuition in public higher education has been shifted from states to families and is a major burden and concern to American families. This should be quantified, studied and corrected.

Bruce A. McFadden



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