Think college isn't worth it? You're not alone, according to a new report from Nielsen. Based on a survey of 2,000 people--900 of whom were college graduates of various ages--the authors found that a majority of college graduates believe college offers a lower return on investment compared to a decade ago. However, what is popular is not always right; as Bloomberg's Natalie Kitroeff asserted: “In reality, not going to college is far more expensive than ending your education at high school. The difference comes to hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Read the full article here.
Ever wonder how much the average philosophy major has to pay toward his/her student loans? Now you can know, using this interactive calculator from Brookings. Utilizing college-major specific earnings data from the US Census Bureau, the Undergraduate Student Loan Calculator shows typical debt burdens (as a percentage of income) for over 75 majors during the decade following graduation. Access the calculator here.
Kaitlin Mulhere of Inside Higher Ed reviewed and summarized College Board's recently released Trends in Higher Education reports. Among the key findings of Trends in College Pricing was that, contrary to popular belief, tuition is not 'skyrocketing' at America's public and private universities. In fact, real tuition increases between 2004-2005 and 2014-2015 were actually smaller than the average increases in tuition from 1994-1995 to 2004-2005. Read Mulhere's full article here.
Too often we hear horror stories in the media about some unlucky college graduate with $100,000+ in student loan debt. Although these people exist, they are few and far between, according to Hamilton Place Strategies. The DC-based public relations firm analyzed over 100 news stories published over a three month period. The study's findings were quite compelling: the average student debt balance of those featured in media stories was $85,400--nearly three times the actual average student debt balance per borrower. According to the report, "If the anecdotes were a random sample, there would be a 0.000007 percent chance reporters would get this result."
Matt Chingos of the Brookings Institution discussed the report he co-authored with Beth Akers, which found that although average student loan balances have increased over the last 20 years, so have earnings--and significantly so. Chingos also discussed the fact that affluent households hold a disproportionate share of education debt. "An era in which students from low-income families used loans to supplement grants has given way to a system dominated by the wealthiest Americans, many of whom were born to affluent parents." According to Chingos, this phenomenon may be misguiding the debate over the value of college. Read the full article here.
There's little doubt that a post-secondary education leads to better earnings in the long-term. However, many question if these earnings are enough to overcome the costs of a college degree. Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have a simple answer to the question, 'Is college worth it?' That answer is yes. In fact, both bachelor's and associate's degrees carry an average return on investment of roughly 15 percent, even in today's uncertain economy. Read the full article here.