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Cost Of College Degree In U.S. Has Increased 1,120 Percent In 30 Years, Report Says

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COLLEGE COSTS SOAR
In this Nov. 28, 2011 file photo, student protesters shout outside a teleconference meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of California, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The cost of pensions and retiree health benefits are soaring at the University of California, increasing pressure to raise tuition and cut academic programs at one of the nation's leading public college systems. According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 12 fold in the last three decades. | AP

The cost of a college degree in the United States has increased "12 fold" over the past 30 years, far outpacing the price inflation of consumer goods, medical expenses and food.

According to Bloomberg, college tuition and fees have increased 1,120 percent since records began in 1978.

Using this chart to explain its findings, Bloomberg reports that the rate of increase in college costs has been "four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index." It also notes that "medical expenses have climbed 601 percent, while the price of food has increased 244 percent over the same period."

This is not the first time in recent months that rising college costs have been in the news.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported the average tuition at four-year public universities had increased by 15 percent between 2008 and 2010. Private universities were also found to have had significant price increases.

“Soaring tuition and shrinking incomes are making college less and less affordable,” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told Bloomberg. “For millions of young people, rising college costs are putting the American dream on hold, or out of reach.”

Indeed, as tuition costs continue to rise and the national student loan debt hits $1 trillion, some people have been left wondering if college is even worth it anymore.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the Associated Press in June that lowering college costs needs to be priority for the whole country.

"As a nation, we need more college graduates in order to stay competitive in the global economy," Duncan said. "But if the costs keep on rising, especially at a time when family incomes are hurting, college will become increasingly unaffordable for the middle class."

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