Friday, June 11, 2010

College tuition has been climbing three times as fast as inflation - Wow!

For years I've heard that over many decades college tuition has been climbing twice as fast as inflation. This means that in real dollars, dollars adjusted for inflation, it will cost a lot more to send my children to college, than it cost me to go to college. I was able to work summer jobs and pay my own tuition. My children will probably not be able to self fund their college education. We're hoping that our children will be able to get enough scholarships and grants that what is left is something they can handle.

It looks like the truth is worse, Mark Perry reports that for the last couple decades college tuition has been climbing three times as fast as inflation:

"Actually, tuition has been been increasing annually (7.88%) at more than three times the rate of inflation (2.37%) since 1978, see chart above. The article points out that "unlike the housing bubble, in which foreclosure and bankruptcy allowed people to have a fresh start, the college tuition bubble will haunt young people for life unless bankruptcy laws change" (since student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy)."

For those of you who like graphs, and don't mind really seeing bad news, check out his post 8 Reasons College Tuition Is Next Bubble to Burst.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

I wrote last year:

"I have blogged in the past about the problem of rising cost of a college education. In a nut shell the cost of college education has climbed twice as fast as inflation for decades. It has gotten to the point that a college education is not an economic benefit for many."

I think things will have to change. This trend can not continue. At some point people will stop going to collge, or more likely, figure out a cheaper way to get the equivalent of a college education.

Technorati tags: college, tuition, education


Jean said...

When I was in college in the 90's, my mom was exasperated by the fact that I couldn't pay my way through as she had done at the same (state) college 30 years before. She thought I was wasting money until I went over the numbers with her. If you figured our hourly earnings as the same, my costs were more than double hers. A few years later, my youngest brother was at the same college again and cost quite a bit more than I had. And now, 10 years after his graduation, the costs are so impossibly high that I've decided to point my kids towards BYU to save money.

Caitlin M. said...

The tuition bubble has to burst sometime. It's shocking how high tuition has climbed, even in spite of the economic downturn. There are other options for college though.

One option that has been gaining popularity in the last ten years is taking the CLEP test. CLEP tests offer students the opportunity to test out of a subject for a fraction of the cost. The College Board website goes into detail about the tests - they currently offer 33 different tests.

I personally used this method to save time and money in college. I was able to get my degree in three years for under $15,000. Being homeschooled was actually a major asset because I had the study skills that I needed to succeed. I'd recommend looking into the CLEP method. It might be a viable option for you.

Janine Cate said...

I CLEP'ed 42 credits and was able to graduate from college in 3.5 years. At the end of 3 years, I was 3 only credits short of graduating.

Another benefit of the CLEP credits is that I was considered a Sophomore/Junior when I started my first year. That gave me seniority to get into the classes I wanted.

Henry Cate said...

I am planning on going over with my oldest daughter just how much college tuition will be for her, and then showing her how much money she can save by CLEPing out and doing a few Junior College classes.