As the cost of college continues to rise, and more and more students graduate in debt, and then try to enter a difficult job market, many have begun to question: is college actually worth the price?
The basic formulation is pretty straightforward: by going to college, you spend 4(+?) years not in the labor force, and spend money outright on the cost of college itself; in return, you have a higher employment income for all the years that follow college until you retire, which in theory can make up the college tuition outflows plus the years of foregone earnings.
However, as college gets more expensive, and the “bonus” to future salary for having a college education doesn’t seem to be what it once was (especially for many liberal arts degrees), it’s getting harder to make the case that college is still worth it.
There’s just one problem: while you earn one future income without a college education, and a higher future income with a college education, neither projection accounts for the crucial income risk of unemployment.Read More…