Feature

Is college really worth the cost?

Colleges have long assumed they are immune to the law of supply and demand, said Michael Barone in The Washington Examiner.

Michael BaroneThe Washington Examiner

Like the housing bubble before it, “the higher education bubble” is about to burst, said Michael Barone. Over recent decades, yearly tuitions at most private universities have climbed far beyond the rate of inflation, to $30,000 and up, on the widespread assumption that a college degree guarantees a successful life.

Many young people and their parents have taken on debts of $100,000 or more, only to find that in our new economy, graduates can’t find the high-paying jobs they assumed would be there—or any jobs at all. More troubling still is that many graduates emerge with subpar educations, as colleges water down standards and squander millions on administrators and star professors who do little teaching. For many students, two years in a low-cost community college, followed by a transfer to a four-year school, makes more economic sense; for others, training in a specific profession, such as plumbing and electrical work, may provide a more secure future.

Colleges have long assumed they are immune to the law of supply and demand. But the skyrocketing cost of college “is not sustainable,” as people start to “figure out they’re not getting their money’s worth.”

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