April 26, 2010 | Adam Sorensen | Leave a comment According to “Measuring Up 2008: The National Report Card on Higher Education,” out of the 50 states, only one isn’t failing when it comes down to college affordability. California received the highest grade which was a “C” while the other 49 states received “F”s. The study’s results show that affordability is a major issue facing both young Americans and their parents. Since 1982 college tuition and fees have increased 439% in current dollar prices whereas the median family income has only risen 147%. So as time moves along college fees increase so much that fewer and fewer individuals from lower and middle income families are able to finance a college degree. And as a result of the affordability issue, the number of young adults with a college degree is falling in comparison with other countries. The United States in 2008 ranked seventh in the world for young adults enrolling in college. Korea holds first place, followed by Greece, Poland, Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, and then the U.S. However, when it comes to students that actually get certificates and degrees, the U.S. ranks 15th on the list. Find your degree using our degree finder tool. Then it breaks up the statistics even further to show that the percent of adults between 35 and 64 that hold a degree is at 39 percent and ranked second internationally but for individuals between 25 and 34 the percentage of degree holders is still 39 percent but now there are nine countries that have a greater percentage of college educated adults. This is cause for concern because if the U.S. is going to remain competitive and keep highly technical jobs at home then there need to be a lot of qualified workers that can fill those positions. So individuals need to be going to college in order to gain the knowledge and skills that these technical jobs require. What Americans must understand is that jobs supporting a middle-class lifestyle require an education and training beyond high school. This is the reality that many Americans fail to understand so unless they get an education they might end up with a crappy job and pay that they can barely live on. And another concerning factor is that the most educated generation of Americans are reaching retirement age. So that means there will be many job openings that require skilled and trained individuals. And unless individuals get an education and earn a degree they aren’t going to have these skills and ultimately won’t be able to fill these positions and they could be sent overseas. If Americans want to have at least a middle class life-style then they must realize that they need an education. A high school degree isn’t going to cut it if they want a great job and a comfortable salary. So start working towards your degree. In order to learn more about higher education, visit ClassesandCareers.com Find your degree using our degree finder tool.