The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee holds a hearing on strategies for controlling the cost of a college degree.
Witnesses included representatives from both large state schools and small community colleges.
Tuition at four-year universities have increased exponentially since 1980, and the average student graduates with around $20,000 in student loan debt. For students at private colleges, the total can often be several times that.
For public universities and community colleges, the budget crises in many states have led to lower state funding and higher tuition bills for students. In an address to the National Governors Association last weekend, Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged the governors to address the issue.
This hearing, chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), is seeking to highlight strategies and current practices for keeping college costs down.
Don Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University; Steven Leath, president of Iowa State University; Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee Community College; Thomas J. Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, Ind.; and Carol Twigg, president and CEO of the National Center for Academic Transformation, a group that focuses on the use of technology in education, testified.