“There is probably no bigger issue right now in the higher education arena than the affordability [of a college education],” says the University of Pittsburgh’s new chancellor Patrick Gallagher, “and the reason it’s such an important issue is not just the cost, it’s all of the consequences that cost has.”
Gallagher, who this month took over for Mark Nordenberg, who served 19 years in the post, said those consequences include debt accrued by students and their families.
“If you’re leaving school with a high debt and entering a field where it takes awhile to get started, this could become a real barrier," Gallagher said. "It’s changing the way prospective students are thinking about what they will do coming in. There’s a lot of pressure to know what you want to get out of college before you’ve even started and experienced it.”