College tuition has jumped by 500% since 1985
That pace easily beats both the rate of inflation and the rising cost of health care over the period.
As Bloomberg points out, the rising cost of college tuition far outpaced the growth of medical costs (286%) and overall inflation (121%) during the same span. Even if you earned your diploma in the late '90s, you still got a bargain by comparison. Tuition rates kept pace with health care costs in the early '90s, but spiked from a relatively paltry 200% of their 1985 average in the early 2000s.
Michelle Cooper, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, told Bloomberg the skyrocketing tuition drives income inequality by depriving those of less means of schooling. And that may derail the "prestige and status" of U.S. higher education. Sorry, Michelle, but you're a little late to that deeply indebted graduation party.
College graduates are making $3,200 less than they did in 2000. Both art school and business school grads are swimming in debt: Total U.S. student loan debt adds up to $1.1 trillion. Cash-poor doctorate recipients are seeking food stamps in increasing numbers. Roughly 284,000 college graduates are making the minimum wage.
Even when graduates get a job, their debt doesn't get any less onerous. The Center For College Affordability and Productivity reported that nearly half of the college graduates from the class of 2010 are in jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree. A full 38% have taken jobs that don't even require a high school education.
That combination of loans and low wages is keeping recent and not-so-recent college grads out of the housing market entirely. Just about the only folks to really profit from college education within the last decade have been in Washington, where the government pulled in $100 billion in student loan interest.
Although President Barack Obama and Congress recently hammered out legislation capping student loan rates, even a proposal to tie loans and grants to a college ranking system based on costs and benefits is facing skepticism. Even worse, the current Higher Education Act expires this year and requires the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-led Senate to craft a new one next year.
As staggering as the rapid pace of college tuition increases has been, the equal and opposite glacial attempts by the federal government to do anything about it have been similarly stunning.
College is no longer about teaching kids, it is about professors doing research and write papers for other professors to read, and then pat each other on the back. You don't get raises and promotions by producing good students, you get raises and promotions by writing papers that other professors want to read. Most professors spend only 50-25% of their time teaching.
Students are funding this research.
Let me give you a great comparison: a community college and a 4-year college I considered attending back in the late 60's. I picked the 4-year college because the tuitions were about the same then.
Anne Arundel Community College, AACC, had a tuition of $689 in 1970. University of Maryland Baltimore County, UMBC, had a tuition of $756. Both had the typical grab-a-tray and choose-from-a-few-items commuter cafeteria.
Today, AACC has the same commuter cafeteria with the addition of a sub station. It's tuition is $4000 per year. UMBC's tuition today is $10,000. How did they diverge. UMBC's cafeteria a typical example. Today's commuter cafeteria is a high-ceiling, skylighted, adventure with live potted plants and little decks with well-separated tables with padded chairs. There are stations with knockoffs of KFC, Subway, McD's, Pizza Hut, etc.
If you check out the labs (I majored in Chemistry at UMBC and took refresher courses in the 90's in Calculus and Physics at AACC) they both accomplish the same thing, but UMBC's labs have more expensive plumbing, sinks, etc. UMBC's classrooms often have expensive wooden desks with plexiglass top so you can put a laptop under it yet take notes above it. The gym now has an indoor track that circles the gym halfway up the rows of seats.
All nice things, but nice things that mean the Middle Class kids either can't go there or must assume a lot of debt to do so: working your way through college simply isn't possible anymore unless you have a sweetheart of a part-time job.
Since UMBC was originally established primarily as a public commuter college to service Baby Boomers from the Baltimore Area, it has betrayed it's commitment to that constituency. As have the vast majority of 4-year state colleges in the USA. To me, who taught hundreds of gifted and talented students who did not go to college because the price was too high for their parents to tolerate, it's as big a crime as someone who robs a bank: because those responsible to today's situations robbed millions of kids nationwide out of their futures or saddled them with high debt.
Let me see - 38% of college grads got the jobs that do not require a college degree. I wonder where the prices would be if the demand suddenly dropped 38% - and all the idiots got the gob straight out of high-school? I betcha you'll see a price freeze and then a nice price drop. I am just wondering when are we going to rememeber about personal responsibility, and stop looking for the government to solve problem it has created in the first place?
on my own, despite the fact my parents were part of the 1%. Greatest lesson my
father taught me is to be self sufficient. Books in my hey day were between 3-8 dollars.
Now if you pay in gold bullion you might get a decent graduate degree.
I have told my kids, nieces, nephews and anyone else for years now that they can be anything they want when they grow up. But they have to want to be at least ten things (and a dinosaur does not count). That way they can be something they want to be and still find something that will allow them to make a living.
I went to college (got BSN) after retiring from the Navy and watched sooo many young adults getting degrees in fields that have no jobs at all. Its criminal the way colleges take money for training in nonexistent jobs.
ALLOW STUDENT LOAN DEBT TO BE DISCHARGEABLE THROUGH BANKRUPTCY.
No, I don't advocate not paying your debts, but you have to at least make these monster think twice before lending $200,000 to a C student for an art history degree. Of course - it will never happen. Too many people are making too much money,
The death of America.
One might infer from the article that:
-We are creating college graduates faster than we are creating jobs for college graduates.
-It may not make economic sense to borrow money to finance certain types of degrees.
-Colleges & Universities have lost control of costs.
-The federal government is a participant in the issue by encouraging students to make economically risky loans which in turn encourage immense inflationary costs in our institutions of higher learner.
Once again the feds enter a market with (hopefully) the best intentions & get sandbagged with unintended consequences.
Why doesn't anyone investigate what these colleges are spending on that money on? We just keep accepting the increases and funneling in the money without question.
I also put some blame on corporate HR departments. They have a knee jerk need to require a college degree for many jobs that simply do not need one, so it forces you into the college system if you have any hope of getting anything but a part time retail job.
THE DEMOCRAPS! The Republicans tried to leave the rates where they were, and were outvoted, by who again?? naturally the DEMOCRAPS! nuff said.
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