It's no secret that today's students have to fork over more money for college than their parents and grandparents had to pay "back in the day." However, who knew that college costs have surged more than 500 (538, to be exact) percent since 1985?

This surge has led to an increase in financial aid and educational loans in addition to exacerbating income inequality. Think about it: as college becomes more unaffordable, those with little means will have a harder time getting access to a higher education, making it difficult for them to advance. This is also bad news for the country's image of having a prestigious higher education system. Compared to other colleges in the world that are less expensive (some may even argue that out-of-country colleges are even a better choice for Americans), are students really getting what they pay for?

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