College costs too much, both for students and for society as a whole.

This year, according to the College Board, average published in-state tuition and fee plus room/board charges exceed $17,000 at four-year public institutions, a 6% increase from only one year earlier.

In 2009, spending by Americans for post-secondary education totaled $461 billion, an amount 42% greater than in 2000, after accounting for inflation. This $461 billion is the equivalent of 3.3% of total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and an amount greater than the total GDP of countries such as Sweden, Norway and Portugal.

The public is taking notice. The Occupy Wall Street protesters have featured student debt forgiveness as one of their demands, and students in California have demonstrated several times in the past year after their tuition was raised twice.