More Bad News About Your College Investment
Seven in 10 say a college education is very important. Why, then, is it so expensive?
Is college becoming unaffordable?
The average price of attending a four-year public institution in 2011-12 was $23,200 and $43,500 for a private nonprofit, according to a survey from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study. This painful figure is compounded with another shocker from The U.S. Department of Education -- the average price of attending a four-year public college or university jumped $1,700 between 2008 and 2012 and by $3,900 for a four-year private school.
The big conundrum is this, as the Wall Street Journal points out...despite rising tuition, "a survey by Moody’s Investors Service found that nearly half of the nation’s schools are no longer generating enough tuition revenue to keep pace with inflation." This just means college is going to get even more expensive and something needs to be done to about it.
While we're placing a high importance on a college education and most Americans with college degrees earn more than those without, several studies and unfortunate anecdotes from new college grads highlight the difficulties of the still-recovering job market. (No) thanks to the recession, there's a softer demand for degrees because it's being filled by "graduating high school seniors, depressed family incomes and precarious job prospects after college," WSJ explains.
TIME also reported this point: college grads are clueless about the fundamentals of office life. "A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack 'communication and interpersonal skills' -- a jump of about 10 percentage points in just two years. A wide margin of managers also say today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well."
Why is the pay for college presidents continuing to grow?
As the cost of college skyrockets, we will demand more from these institutions. This is a challenge to those who run these places, especially to the ones who also belong to the Millionaires Club. The New York Times reports that 42 presidents of private colleges were paid more than a million dollars in 2011, up from 36 for the previous two years. We're sure these college presidents work hard for money, but let's remember it's also about the kids, too. Let's put the paycheck to good use.
Race, gender, and age: The study breakdown
The value of higher education varies across the board (per Gallup):
- The perceived value of a college education is slightly higher among 18- to 29-year-old Americans (74%) than it is among those who are 65 years and older (67%).
- The value of a college education is significantly higher among nonwhites -- a group that includes blacks, Hispanics, and Asians -- than it is among whites.
- Women are more likely than men to value a college degree, which may reflect that higher percentages of women are now enrolled in higher education compared with years past.
Do you think a college education is important?