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|Wed, 02-09-2011 - 9:43am|
I was listening to Marketplace on PBS re: Eqypt <~ how their unemployment/underemployment rate of 9.4% is similar to ours in the USA .(they have free college educations) then I read forbes
For the past quarter-century, the cost of higher education has grown 440%, according to the National Center for Public Policy and Education, nearly four times the rate of inflation and double the rate of health care cost increases. The cost increases have occurred at both public and private colleges
Just 10 years ago the cost of a four-year public college education amounted to 18% of the annual income of middle-income families. Ten years later, it amounted to 25% of that family's average annual income. The cost of attending a private university is about double the cost of public universities.
Over the past 14 years the average debt for a graduating college student has doubled. Today the loan obligation of graduating seniors is more than $20,000 for public university grads and more than $27,000 for graduates of private universities. More than two-thirds of all college graduates have student loan obligations. The number of graduates in debt increased by 27% over just the past five years. And, not surprisingly, the default rate has grown each year. In June of last year student loan debt reached $830 billion, surpassing credit card debt in America.
Because all universities offer some kind of financial assistance, the nominal tuitions are not the amounts universities actually take in. Discounting, often in the range of 25% to 35% of tuition, is offered as financial aid. But even after the discounting the average realized tuition revenue at universities continues to grow. The College Board projects that in 15 years, the cost of a four year college education at a private university will approach $400,000 (at the current rate of cost increases).
Now it is true that college-educated people normally earn more than non-college-educated folks. But over the past two decades the costs of university education--tuition, room, board and fees--have increased at a rate six times greater than the increase in the average earnings of college graduates. And in the past decade college graduates' earnings have actually fallen.
Is there any data to suggest college students today learn more than their predecessors? Or is there any evidence that what today's students learn is retained longer than earlier generations?