Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bang/Buck: College Tuition is a Loser

At least for B.A. kiddies, getting the degree is a questionable investment.

Surging prices, collapsing returns, ending in a crash -- housing? Yes, but the pattern may equally apply to another area of middle-class aspiration -- college education. And as high school seniors receive their fat or thin acceptance or rejection letters this month, maybe we should all take a closer look at what their money buys.

Over the past decade the cost of college tuition has approximately doubled, faster at private colleges. This rapidly inflating investment is yielding a declining return. The earnings of bachelor-degree holders have been dropping this decade. After inflation, B.A. holders earned more than $54,000 in 2000. That dropped 5 percent over the next four years.

The cost of college is directly related to the amount of Fed/State aid (and loans) available. More aid=more cost, as administrators spend (basically) all they can.

In addition:

[T]he proportion of Americans with a college degree continues to rise. As more and more job applicants hold degrees, have employers become more discerning about what exactly those degrees represent? Do employers look past the degree itself, to the subject matter studied, the grades earned, the quality of the institution issuing the degree? If so, students, parents and universities alike will have to ask some hard questions about value for money

When it became de rigeur to require a college degree to perform essentially clerical entry-level functions (or just to get an entry-level job only to be "trained" AGAIN), the inanity of the game was clear.

The college-degree requirement was the PC of the mid-1960's and its legacy-effects?

Not all that inspiring, folks.

HT: Vox

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