“Is College worth it?” asks the fun-lovingly named blog EndoftheAmericanDream.com. I certainly used to think so. I went to college a few years back, because, as Colin Hanks says in Orange County “that’s what you’re supposed to do after high school!”
Upon immigrating from Greece to the United States, my great grandfather even chose to go to a small town in Ohio named Wooster to open up a restaurant, rather than move with the rest of his family to Detroit (which was growing rapidly back then) because he wanted to be near a University. That way his children would most likely go. And they did go, and back then it was probably worth it. My grandparents were quite successful. As were my parents who paid for college by being RA’s… and they actually made a profit. Oh how things have changed. The blog lists 11 very troubling signs:
#1 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark in early 2012.
#2 Total student loan debt in the United States is increasing by approximately $2,854 every single second.
#3 The average college student now leaves school with $24,000 in student loan debt.
#4 Approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.
#5 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.
#6 Over the past 25 years, the cost of college tuition has increased at an average rate that is approximately 6% higher than the general rate of inflation.
#7 Back in 1952, a full year of tuition at Harvard was only $600. Today, it is $35,568.
#8 Average yearly tuition at U.S. private universities is now up to $27,293. That has increased by 29% in just the past five years.
#9 The cost of college textbooks has tripled over the past decade.
#10 Since 1978, the cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent.
#11 One survey found that 23 percent of college students actually use credit cards to pay for tuition or fees.
All these student loans (which are not erased in bankruptcy) are just pushing more and more people into debt, including many people who have no need to go to college in the first place. As the article sums up, “[college] is a 4 (or 5 or 6) year vacation away from reality.” But “going to college can be an incredibly painful financial decision as well.” So if you’re going to get a degree in engineering, go for it. Sociology on the other hand, maybe it’d be better to start looking for a job…