Is College Becoming Out-of-Reach?

An article in the Huffington Post about college costs caught my eye.

college costs

Over the past three decades, the inflation-adjusted income of the median American family has basically remained stagnant. The same can’t be said of college costs, which have simultaneously surged to almost unrecognizable heights, according to a new report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

Costs at private nonprofit four-year colleges have increased by more than 150 percent since 1982, but the real trouble is at four-year public schools, where inflation-adjusted costs have experienced a startling 250 percent jump.



Jet City mom said…
In 1995, 24.7 % of people 25-29 had a bachelor degree, compared with 33.5% in 2012.

It doesn't look like it is more out of reach than it was when I was in high school in the 1970's.
Rather the opposite.

I thought the reason for the push of AP, IB & running start was to increase access to college.

Looks like its working.
I don't think its the number of people going but the cost to go (and the number of people in debt long after they leave).
Jet City mom said…
What has changed is that families arent saving for college & they make up their minds anyway that their kid has to attend a school that is out of state/private- because their precious snowflake has worked so " hard" and because they want a window cling that will impress the neighbors.

Jet City mom said…
Many of the jobs that are being added, do not require college.
Why take out college loans to work at a shoe store on Market?

Troopers are boosting local recruitment efforts in the effort to increase the number of applicants.
"Statistically, less than 5 percent of those who test actually make it as trooper," said Trooper Keith Leary.

About 300 positions need to be filled statewide.

State troopers don't have an exact answer for the shortage in qualified recruits, but they partly blame competition for jobs and higher pay among police agencies. An entry level trooper makes around $3,800 per month.

In my world -$45,000 starting salary for a job that just rquires a high school diploma is pretty reasonable.
Anonymous said…
The graph doesn't actually show the rising cost of what people pay (taking into account the number of people going to colleges that cost different amounts). It shows that the cost of university has risen much faster than income, and public universities especially so.

Interesting to me because the option I remember of the affordable public university does appear to be the one that's changing in the current landscape.

joanna said…
Jet City Mom, yes it is the costs. It would be interesting to see a graph of the amount of student loan debt incurred by parents and students over the same period of time.
j said…
At UW, at least, the cost-per-student has been remarkably flat for more than a decade. What's changed is the total erosion of any state subsidy. The cost now has to come out of the student's pocket instead.
joanna said…
A college education does give a person options that he or she might not otherwise have. There is value there. However, that does not mean that many other options such as community college are not valuable. It would be a shame for these opportunities to be financially out of reach for any student ready, wanting, and willing to invest themselves in studying. I do think for a number of reasons something has to give with rising incomes at the top and of education and the median family income in decline. That endangers the future of many different generations now and into the future. In fact, I think that laying a foundation that allows a person to have confidence that they can learn new things or successfully complete a variety of programs at any age has the most value. It also means that the opportunities have to within the reach of most people. I also wonder if in the past more employers provided on the job training than they do now.
Jet City mom said…
As we complain about rising costs, we demand more amenities.
Anonymous said…
There aren't enough spaces in WA state 4 year schools for WA state students. If you can't get into a program at your state university, then your next best option is a private out of state college which ends up being cheaper than another state's public university. It has nothing to do with precious snowflakes.

GreyWatch said…
Not sure what circles you are running in JCM, but this is not what I'm seeing.

The folks I've seen sending their kids off somewhere are usually doing so as the schools gave them enough $ to make it equivalent to what they'd pay for the UW. these seem to be mostly small liberal arts schools in the middle of the country that most people around here have never heard of.

I also think the pressure on the schools to build fancy digs is self-imposed (a misguided marketing strategy), and possibly also coming from a small minority of influential and well heeled donors.

Most SPS parents I know just want their kid to get a decent education that will help them be successful in whatever it is they want to do AND not incur loads of debt in the process.

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