Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Diminishing Value of a Degree

What’s the value of a degree? It’s tough to say exactly, but it certainly isn’t what it once was.

The message of necessity with regard to college is reinforced from the first day of elementary school to high school graduation. You must go to college. Without a college degree, you’ll be in trouble. It still holds true that college graduates typically have more earning power than those who don’t graduate college, but the rate of return on a degree isn’t what it once was.

Nationally, the cost of education is rising far faster than the expected salary of college graduates. Hear recent grads complaining about their loans? The complaints are only going to get louder and extend longer given the current trend.

No one denies that tuition and fees have exploded over the past decade. Every state is fighting the same battle.

We analyzed tuition and fees at four-year public schools nationally against the median salary for college graduates and found a troubling trend. Students are paying far more for their degrees without the same rate of return on salary once they graduate. We found the percentage of tuition and fees against the expected salary after graduation in 2005 and then compared it to 2015. Below is a reflection of the change in the percentage of tuition and fees over that 10-year span.
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