on the horizon

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
on the horizon
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?


Avatar for coldfingers
Community Leader
Registered: 04-30-2000
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 1:06pm

I think the debt owed by many now after college is awful.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 02-09-2011 - 2:19pm

Is there any data to suggest college students today learn more than their predecessors?>>

No, and I don't know where what they LEARN became germane, when the article was about what they EARN!!!

And what college students today EARN has been DROPPING yearly, while what tuition COSTS has been INCREASING yearly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 02-10-2011 - 12:58pm

Actualy, if you look at the salary data more closely (I put all the salaries in a spread sheet and calculated the %increases), from 2008 to 2009, there was an overall average increase of 0.99% and from 2009 to 2010, a decrease of 0.78%. I haven't calcuated the standard deviation or done a histogram of the salaries; that would be even more enlightening.

However, the trend is obvious and in fact, I am surprised the drop was not been more pronounced. It could be that the salary data is "at least a year old" (i.e. the 2010-2011 more acurately reflects what happened in 2009 and perhaps the beginning of 2010). It is after all only Feb.). Next year salaries will likely see a larger drop as the data catches up to the down swing of the high tech sector and slow down in the US economy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Thu, 02-10-2011 - 2:35pm

Interesting stats.