I've been thinking a lot about this topic myself. I have two kids, ages 5 & 7 and I have been pretty diligent about putting money away into their 529 college savings plan. Even so, if tuition inflation continues at it's current rate, I would probably need around $800,000 to be send them to any college they want debt-free. That's just not going to happen.
I don't agree that schools don't have to compete on price, but I do think that society's emphasis on a 4 year degree as a pre-requisite for success has led to a "cost be damned" mentality when it comes to choosing schools. For the last 30 years, it was never a question that the value of a degree was greater than the cost for most parents. Now we are starting to see chinks in that armor, as more stories of college graduates who are living under the crushing burden of their debt come to light.
I think the real change will start to happen in several years, when this generation of 20 and 30 somethings, who lived and raised families while paying down their 6 figure student loans start to send their own kids to college. They are going to know that burden first hand and are not going to want their own children to have to deal with it. I think the middle tier private schools will be the first to feel the pinch. Will Dennison be able to charge $100k per student in 10 years? What about Claremont McKenna in California or Brandeis in Massachusetts? I think it's unlikely.
Dave Ramsey has been beating this drum for awhile and I happen to agree with him. If you aren't going to Harvard/Yale (or a peer institution), or a state school, you are probably getting ripped off for your college degree. Once parents start to realize this en masse and speak with their checkbooks, the dominoes will start to fall.
My college was about 50% Natalie's cost. An order of magnitude would be crazy. I don't think that rule of thumb holds up. 10x over 20-25 years? That's so far out of whack I can't imagine it. Denison costs about $75,000 per year. No way it cost only $7500 in 1996. Allegheny almost as much, and no way did it cost < $7k 25 years ago.
It's gone up but I have no belief it's an order of magnitude.
Sadly, a rule of thumb on tuition is an order of magnitude per generation. When I was a freshman at WPI, my roommate and I were paying $6000 tuition. His dad, who went to WPI, pay $600. Now it $60,000. And frankly, it’s not like the school is worth a 1000% more now.
I would only agree to forgiveness or help where the loans were predatory in nature. There have been instances of this, especially in the for-profit universities. But the cost has to be reined in. It’s far greater than inflation would justify.
My go to ball is the Snell MTB Black (great ball at a great price). Characteristics and performance are comparable to the below balls I also play.
I’ll buy the ZStar (buy 2, get 1) and TP5x (buy 3, get 1) when they’re on sale. I also really like the ProV1, but only play them when I get them as a gift.