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For generations now, the U.S. government has stressed the importance of education to schoolchildren, specifically the value of a college diploma, and it has been willing and able to foot the bill. Of course, that was until the meltdown. With the current fiscal crisis, which is forcing states and the federal government to downsize financial aid budgets, and jack up college tuitions, more people with the smarts and work ethic to attend college are having to pass up the opportunity.

This begs the question: when the government can no longer subsidize education for anyone with the desire to attend, is a college degree really a reality for anyone with that desire, as we have been assured up to this point? Moreover, how will this pullback in education affect our competitiveness in the world job market as countries like Japan, China, and India continue to put out sizeable numbers of competent college grads?

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