I have written before about my skepticism over the need for everyone to get a college education (here and here) as well as my extreme opposition to student loans and our current system of funding higher education (here, here and here). Today, via Joanne Jacobs, we find out that Charles Miller who led the Commission on the Future of Higher Education is now arguing that the earnings benefit for having a college degree is probably much less than has been previously stated.
Rather than being 1 million over a career, the number according to Charles Miller is more like $280K. Given that a private college education now routinely runs about $100K over 4 years with room and board and adding in the cost of interest on student loans, as well as the missed opportunity costs of having money which could otherwise be used to invest in a 401K or other investment vehicle going towards paying off student loans, this number really calls into question whether it makes sense to insist on a college diploma as a requirement for most decent jobs.
I have long thought that the credential inflation we have seen over the last couple of decades (requiring ever higher credentials for professional positions) is the result the failure of our high schools to adequately prepare students to enter into the workforce. Continue reading “Is college worth it?”