How much did it cost you to go to college?
Don't worry, I'm not asking for specifics. The odds are pretty good that it was a lot less than it costs now, even if it did strain our budgets at the time.
I mention this because of an announcement by Harvard -- yes, the Harvard -- that from now on, families making up to $180,000 a year would be required to pay no more than 10 percent of their annual income for a child's tuition at the school.
Considering that the total cost of a Harvard education as of this year is about $46,500 a year, with tuition about two-thirds of that, that's a pretty good deal.
I'm no expert on this, but I have been paying college expenses for a student for eight of the last nine school years, finishing in May 2007. We told our two young students that we would pay $15,000 a year for four years and that anything beyond that was up to them. We based the numbers on what a year at a state university would cost here in California.
Our kids were fortunate in that they finished school without any debts, but there are millions of young adults in this country staggering under the burden of college loans that they needed to start them on the way.
Some of them don't get out from under until it's time to send their own kids to college.
Some never do.
Many European countries offer free education for qualified students. My lovely wife earned doctorates in astronomy and geophysics and never had to pay any tuition. Some folks in this country would call that socialism, but it seems to me a pretty good way to make use of the talent of the people in a country.