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Gingersnap
09-21-2010, 11:02 AM
Cost of college: Grads break even by age 33
Updated 16h 9m ago | Comments 17

By Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

For the typical student attending a four-year public university, the financial investment in college begins to pay off at about age 33, a report says Tuesday.

Compared with a high school graduate, the typical four-year college graduate who enrolled in a public university at age 18 has earned enough by then to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years and for borrowing enough to pay tuition and fees without grant aid.

Unemployment rates have increased faster among people with a high school diploma but no college degree, the report says, and college grads are more likely to exercise, volunteer, vote and read to their kids, and are less likely to be obese or smoke.

"Questions have intensified about whether going to college is worthwhile," says Education Pays, released by College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. "For the typical student, the investment pays off very well over the course of a lifetime even considering the expense."

This is the third such report since 2004; the 2008 report was criticized by Charles Miller, former chair of a higher-education commission under President Bush, as being a "cheerleader" instead of giving "a clear and accurate picture of the dangerous financial deterioration of our higher-education system."

This year's report says the solution is not to advise students to skip college but to provide better information and advice and more generous financial support.

"If it wasn't clear before, it should be abundantly clear now that a college graduate is far more competitive in today's workplace," College Board president Gaston Caperton says.

I'm not too sure about the stats at the link. While it's true that science, technical, and certain business degrees pay off very well, I'm less certain about soft degrees right now. The days are long gone when any degree automatically bumped you into a management track. What I see is that soft degrees today put you where skilled labor was 20 or 30 years ago. You can have a nice life and support a family in working class style (1 wage earner) or middle class style (dual income).

Basically, college is the new high school in some ways.

USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-21-educationpaysONLINE21_ST_N.htm)

Nubs
09-21-2010, 01:09 PM
I'm not too sure about the stats at the link. While it's true that science, technical, and certain business degrees pay off very well, I'm less certain about soft degrees right now. The days are long gone when any degree automatically bumped you into a management track. What I see is that soft degrees today put you where skilled labor was 20 or 30 years ago. You can have a nice life and support a family in working class style (1 wage earner) or middle class style (dual income).

Basically, college is the new high school in some ways.

USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-21-educationpaysONLINE21_ST_N.htm)

It really is true. Due to being laid-off, I am back getting my MBA. When filling out my application, I became concerned beacuse of my undergrad GPA of 2.4. Since my degree is 15 years old, the gpa was compensated for "grade inflation". This results in turning a 1995 2.4 gpa into a 2009 3.4 gpa. Happy to say I am currently at 3.75 (do not take the accounting and finance battery during condensed summer terms). Guess I grew up after all.

ralph wiggum
09-21-2010, 01:39 PM
It really is true. Due to being laid-off, I am back getting my MBA. When filling out my application, I became concerned beacuse of my undergrad GPA of 2.4. Since my degree is 15 years old, the gpa was compensated for "grade inflation". This results in turning a 1995 2.4 gpa into a 2009 3.4 gpa. Happy to say I am currently at 3.75 (do not take the accounting and finance battery during condensed summer terms). Guess I grew up after all.

Wow, they really adjusted your GPA for grade inflation? :eek:

I agree with the reasoning, I'm just shocked that they do that. I feel a lot better about my undergrad GPA now that you posted that. I'll have to send a note to my parents, they weren't thrilled at the time, especially since they footed most of the bill.

Nubs
09-21-2010, 02:31 PM
Another thing that bugs me is AP credit courses. Local colleges around here advertise by using freshman's images with there highschool gpa emblasoned on the billboard. Sally Mae Rotten Crotch 4.17 out of 4.0. How the hell is that possible??? They get extra credit for the AP courses. In my day it was not extra credit but a way to get through college quicker without paying the extra tuition.

Gingersnap
09-21-2010, 02:59 PM
Another thing that bugs me is AP credit courses. Local colleges around here advertise by using freshman's images with there highschool gpa emblasoned on the billboard. Sally Mae Rotten Crotch 4.17 out of 4.0. How the hell is that possible??? They get extra credit for the AP courses. In my day it was not extra credit but a way to get through college quicker without paying the extra tuition.

That's what I used AP for as well as CLEP tests. It's hard to know how they figure GPA at the high school level now. Grade inflation is just wild and the use of demonstration projects instead of objective testing in some cases sort of muddles everything more.

On the other hand, working like a dog to get a 4.17 GPA and then being one of 10 "valedictorians" seems like a complete waste of effort to me although I guess it does train them for the bitter disappointments of cube farm life.