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Abetting the demise of the middle class

Raleigh’s News & Observer picked up a story from Bloomberg News late last night that provides additional confirmation of a fact we’ve all been witnessing with our own eyes: the ongoing demise of the middle class.

Meanwhile, the Winston-Salem Journal has a story of its own that illustrates one of the classic contributors to this trend of late. It’s entitled “Some students not able to return to college.”

Here’s the lead:

“Higher tuition costs and changes to financial-aid programs have resulted in a big jump in registration cancellations, according to officials at some area colleges.

UNC Greensboro canceled the registrations of about 1,300 students nearly two weeks ago because they had not paid their tuition bills.

At N.C. A&T State University, Akua Matherson, interim associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the university was scheduled to cancel the registrations of 541 students, a 2.5 percent increase from last year, as of last Friday.

Winston-Salem State University has also experienced an increase in cancellations, though the total was not available, said spokeswoman Nancy Young.

‘Like the other schools, the issues are connected to the economy,’ Young said. ‘We’re seeing students not get the paperwork in by the deadlines, which creates issues in getting any financial aid packaged.’

Young said the biggest issue was related to tuition increases.

This ain’t rocket science: These two trends seem sure to remain intertwined in years to come as we reduce our societal commitment to funding high-quality, low-cost public education. The questions is: when will we wake up and break this vicious cycle we’re abetting?

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