Higher education in the U.S. is a hot mess. For decades, funding for public universities and colleges has been in steady decline, which, as spending continued, led to rising institutional debt and eventually reductions in faculty, courses, programs — you name it. To make up the difference, institutions have been jacking up tuition rates to the point that the cost of a college degree is now virtually unaffordable. Not surprisingly, national student debt circles $1 trillion like a buzzard, as college graduation and enrollment rates continue to drop. Some have called it a “crisis,” and that would probably be understating it.