It's relatively easy to get scholarships or government student loans, so they just jack up the prices because they know the students will be able to fork over the money. I think it's also quite common to have parents save up for their childrens' college funds as soon as they have kids, which is another 'out' for the students who can't get scholarships/loans.
It's as simple as that unfortunately, and because having a degree is somewhat essential in this day and age, there's no getting around paying huge sums for education.
Here in Australia, we get government loans which are slowly taxed back when we start earning over a certain amount, how does it work over there?
Here in Germany it's almost impossible for a normal human being to get a scholarship. Government student loans are very easy to get and paying them back is also not that hard (even if you don't manage to get through university).
Most universities etc here are "owned" by the governent or at least heavily financed through it. I guess that's the reason why people here rarely have to pay over €300 per semester.
Of course we have some private universities here in which you have to pay at least €1500 per semester. Only a viable option for really wealthy families.
A huuuge problem universities (the people who want to visit a university, to be more precise) here have is that there is just not enough room for everyone. Not enough room to accomodate all the new students (it's almost impossible to find a flat in Hamburg when a new semester starts) and not enough room in the universities itself.
"This PC pool is designed for 60 people? Let's stuff 100 in here! Sucks to be them, but we don't have a choice".
I'm still not sure if the universitys here are just to small or if there are waaaay to many people who want to attend them. I would almost say it's the latter. There have been a lot of discussions here if Germany is actually getting "too smart". We have too many lawyers, biologists, engineers etc and just not enough carpenters, electricians, kindergarteners (what a strange word) and so on.
It's kind of a big problem.
Paying these loans back through taxes is a pretty neat idea!