The state of Texas has come up with a solution to the high cost of college that I'm hoping will be a model for other states to follow.

Despite what you may have thought of Gov. Rick Perry's presidential aspirations, he was on target with a promise he made in his State of the State address: To allow the state's university system to deliver a standard four-year degree for a total cost of $10,000.

The Texas Tribune  reports that the first degree available for $10,000 is in information technology. Four-year degrees in business administration and organizational leadership are next on tap.

Among the 10 participating Texas colleges are Angelo State University, University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Florida has a different way to get to the same goal. They've converted almost all of their 2-year community colleges to offer 4-year bachelor degree programs. In the process, many of these schools have changed their status from community colleges to state schools.

The question I pose to any head of any state university system is, do you know what's going on with the families that are coming to your school? Right now we are in a time when there is no money to pay for a Rolls Royce degree.

So we need to get our act together. I promise you we are looking down the barrel of a calamity with student loan debt levels as a society and on the individual level with all the horror stories I'm hearing.

For you parents, don't borrow yourself into oblivion to pay for college. Your child can go to a local community college for the first two years and then finish up at a standard four-year school.

And if you as a student are responsible for the bill, don’t over-borrow for four years of college. Your entire school debt for four years shouldn't exceed your likely first year earnings in your desired field of study.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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