The Paradox of the Value of College

The unemployment rate for college grads is about half what it is for those without a degree. All of the jobs growth that took place over the last decade has gone to those with a degree. College pays. Or as former Treasury secretary Larry Summers put it, "I think a college education is expensive, but it is very cheap compared to ignorance."

But there are always other sides to the story. Last month I sat down with Hoover Institute economist Russ Roberts, who gave a fascinating take on how the value of education has changed over the past few decades. Have a look:

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 10:21 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:

    Yes, an education pays. An education in personal finance is worth it's weight in gold.

    The problem with college is that too many overspend for what they get. There is a tendency to compare the rewards of a Yale degree and say it is typical. Those rewards are not.

    Before anyone goes into debt to the tune of $40K a year plus credit cards for a sheepskin on the wall, they had better do their homework.

    Here's the facts:

    4 years of debt at $40k per year = $160,000.

    Credit card debt for "extras" = $25,000

    Lost wages while spinning wheels in college = $160,000 or more.

    The true cost of a poorly planned college education = $345,000.


  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 11:08 PM, herky46q wrote:

    Love the part about STEM.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2013, at 6:20 PM, hbofbyu wrote:

    The problem with college is the problem of our society. What is the value of an education?

    If your sole motivation is to earn more money then you are lost. The most important of all knowledge is "how best to live". If school is only to learn your trade and make money then your education is trivial. Most people live in shameful ignorance regarding matters of ethics and morals and understanding life - even with degrees from Harvard and MIT.

    One of the bigger mistakes we have made in Western civilization is diminishing a liberal education and looking at a degree only as a return on investment.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2319364, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 8:40:03 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 11 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,094.83 -166.62 -0.91%
S&P 500 2,146.10 -18.59 -0.86%
NASD 5,257.49 -48.26 -0.91%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes