Thursday, October 26, 2006

College and Dollars

From NewsAlert yesterday:

At some point,going to college doesn't pay because the jobs might not be able to pay off the loans.You will not hear this from the powerful education lobby.

From CNN today:

How much is a bachelor's degree worth? About $23,000 a year, the government said in a report released Thursday.

That is the average gap in earnings between adults with bachelor's degrees and those with high school diplomas, according to data from the Census Bureau.

Go figure.


sailorman said...

if CNN is really using the national average, then they are promoting confusion. Because the distribution of wealth is so unbalanced, the proper metric for such a comparison is probably the median.

David said...

Cause-and-effect is not so direct here. The people who get degrees tend on the average to have certain attributes of self-discipline and intelligence. A meaningful comparison of earnings would have to use statistical methods for holding these attributes constant.

rightwingprof said...

You're correct. They should have used a median. But when did you start expecting journalists to know anything about statistics?

Anonymous said...

$23,000 more per year (for the college graduate) multiplied over a 40-year career equals nearly $1 million. That's fairly significant net worth. It means home ownership. It means sending your children to college. It means leaving capital behind for the next generation. A $1 million payout for the cost of a bachelor's degree still seems like a fairly good investment.

parentalcation said...

Loan's do serve one purpose. A college student should be a lot less likely to drop out if they know that they are going to have to pay off the student loan whether they graduate or not.

I think that anyone who qualifies and accepted to college should have the chance to attend... except for education majors. JK.

Darren said...

I'd agree with you about education majors.

Fortunately, we don't have such majors at California universities. Can you imagine how much worse off we'd be in this state if we did?

EllenK said...

I have two kids in college. We did our state's plan to buy college tuition in advance, which has been a Godsend. BUT....we are still going to end up having to take out student loans. Why? Because although my daughter is a senior with a high GPA, her degree plan has been changed every year since she began the program. Every year more required credits are tacked on at the end of the term-the latest being Calculus and another pre-med level Anatomy and Physiology class. This might not be a problem if she actually was a pre-med major, but she's a dance major. What has happened is that the Core college at her university is in the red, so they make students still enrolled take more unnecessary classes in order to graduate. She will end up attending five years, as will my son who is doubling in Business and History. If colleges really want to graduate kids in four years, then stop moving the finish line. My daughter's final number of hours will be in the area of 140. And that is the nasty little secret colleges don't want you to know up front. They like to get their pound of flesh and they will get it one way or another. And don't get me started on hidden fees tied to tuition that serve no other purpose than to support college athletics. It's not transparent. If states wanted to streamline and truly provide clarity, they would force colleges to document all fees and where they go. As it is, the average student ends up paying a great deal of money for services they never use.