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Is College Expensive?

May 12, 2014 in Economics

By David Howden

With the average college graduate, this time of year not only brings completion to their studies but also leaves them with about $30,000 of student debt to pay off. As students are wrapping up their studies and starting their professional lives with more and more debt, whether a degree is really “worth it” is coming under fire.

Over at Mises Canada, my daily article today  makes clear that while it´s “convenient to talk about the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerbergs of the world, for the average student the cost of not completing University is high.”

This isn´t because the jobs that college graduates are getting are necessarily so great, but rather because the opportunities for the average student lacking a college degree are, shall we say, less than desirable. While the average college grad starts life with five figures of debt, over his lifetime he will still expect to earn roughly $20,000 more each year compared to his non-degreed counterparts. That´s not chump change, and for the finance graduates the net present value works out to about $800,000. Put that way, a degree looks pretty cheap (but that could just be the professor in me talking).

In short, if you think spending four (or more) years in college and graduating with debt is a bad deal, consider the alternative.

Read more here.

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