• Mike Cramer

Is College Worth It? Part II

OK…here we go….last time we talked about the performance of college. If you need to refresh your memory click here. And, in short, it wasn’t great or even good or even a small disaster. Drop out rates are high (45%+), jobs attained upon graduation that do not require a college degree are high (44%) and rising. And, if you take away all the students who are studying to be teachers, and they have absolutely no choice regarding college, all the numbers get worse… BUT…hey college is fun and it’s inexpensive and I love the football and the fraternity parties and Fall Break, The Holiday Break, The end of semester break, Spring Break, Summer Break…. Whoa…all the breaks are real enough…but INEXPENSIVE? I think not. College tuition has risen over 1,200% over the past 15 years or so. If gasoline had gone up as much, you would be paying $18.00 a gallon! If milk had risen as much you would be paying $12.00 a gallon! And, in spite of decreasing enrollment (six years in a row) the costs continue to rise….so much for Economics 101! The average four year degree now costs $145,000. It takes 4.8 years to attain (with fewer “breaks” the cost would no doubt come down) and for those who borrow money, their long term debt is about $40,000. As a nation we are now carrying 1.6 TRILLION dollars in student loan debt. Increasingly these debts are not being paid on time, or at all, and at 8% interest the debt grows and grows. The average monthly payment has grown from $227 in 2005 to a whopping $393 in 2016. That would pay for a nice new Mercedes… CNBC has recently reported that 89% of Millenials would like to own a home, but can’t. Why? STUDENT LOAN DEBT! This is a slow moving (but picking up steam) disaster. These debts cannot be dismissed in bankruptcy and they have spawned a whole new generation of predatory “loan management” companies, which will take your $40,000 in debt and make it $125,000…no problem…. Lives are being ruined. If you want some more evidence…hit the Help Button…contact me and I will give you some more details. So….poor performance…outrageous pricing…predatory lending….Hmmmm. Is College Worth It? You decide.

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