My son recently asked if college cost as much when I was his age. Given I know his tuition and remember my own a quick calculation showed me tuition had gone up almost from 5k to over 40K since I graduated in the 80s for the same type of private university. My finance brain took over and I did a quick Compounded Annual Growth Rate and came up with about 6% annually or 2 to 3 times faster than inflation.
Another way to look at this is for the same type of degree has the starting salary gone up as much? From talking to my kid’s friends who are graduating in business and engineering..sorry to say no. Maybe 2x but sure as hell not 6x. Why does this matter? Well the debt most kids have to take on for their degree for one. Simply put colleges and universities have jacked up their prices without any corresponding growth in graduate wages.
But don’t worry, the government with their myriad of student loans came to the rescue. I can’t forget back in 09 when Senator Chuck Schumer (the guy who would regulate our bowel movement if he thought he could buy more votes) gave the commencement speech and talked about how much the Federal Govt was helping kids get a college degree. The “mob” cheered of course. But honestly Chuckless who really is getting enriched here.
The fastest segment of higher education expenses is….administration and what we might say politely as post 1960’s academic departments. >100K a year positions which often defies descriptions have promulgated. So basically you have government aiding the university elites ripping off kids while self-righteously telling the rest of us we are immoral, racist, bigots, greedy sobs.
But it really gets better..who are these “elites”? The original wave was baby boomers..you know the generation which spent a good deal of time avoiding the real world and running to academic, non profits, government, and of course NPR. “It’s about the kids” you often hear from “educational experts.” Well if it is perhaps its time to take a nice big pay cut, shut down all those useless “social science” departments created after 1960 and fire about half the administration. If a year’s worth of tuition is more than what a kid can make flipping burgers in a summer..by definition its a rip off.
As for the youngsters ringing up the debt…you can always use the same excuse the elites did when they acted irresponsibly ten years ago and ask for a bailout..heck debt forgiveness. Why not..just ring up old Ben Bernanke (another academic) and have him come to Congress and say student dept is too big to fail and must be forgiven..or at least have the Fed fire up the printing presses again and pay off the debt holders..after all the banks and investment funds expect a bailout.
Oh the baby boomers..perhaps the most selfish and hypocritical generation the world has ever or will ever seen…