1 Thing Even More Expensive Than Going to College

With the cost of college rising at a staggering rate, many have begun to question if it is even worth it. Yet a recent study reveals rather starling news.

Feb 15, 2014 at 1:45PM

It has been widely documented the cost of college is rising all too quickly and student loans are becoming more of a burden than ever for Americans, but it turns out one thing is becoming more costly than going to college.

Rising costs
There is no denying the cost of college has been on an unprecedented run over the last 40 years, with the average cost of college in constant dollars -- meaning inflation is factored in -- three times higher in 2013 than it was in 1973:

Images
Source: College Board. 

When you consider that the price of college has more than tripled over the last 40 years while the income of Americans has only doubled, put simply, college is becoming less and less affordable. Understandably, this has led many to speculate if going to college is even worth the cost, and with student debt levels rising to more than $1 trillion, that seems like a justified question.

Yet the latest report from the Pew Research Center reveals not going to college is even more costly.

The widening gap
In a recent report entitled The Rising Cost of Not Going to College, the Pew Center found that the median salary for those age 25 to 32, deemed Millennials, with a bachelor's degree or more stood at $45,500, which was more than 50% higher than those with a two-year degree, some college, or a high school diploma. The disparities between the unemployment rate and the percent of those deemed as living in poverty was even more startling:

Images
Source: Pew Research Center.

Put differently, a four-year college degree cuts the chance of someone being unemployed in half.

Even more staggering than the gap between those with and without a degree is how that gap has widened over the years:

Images
Source: Pew Research Center.

As you can see, for the "Silents" generation -- those born between 1925 and 1942 -- a college degree only meant a person could expect to earn 15% more money each year than someone with a two-year degree. Yet for the Millennial generation, that gap has ballooned to more than 50%.

Much needs to be done about the ballooning costs of college and the impact the rising costs have on millions of lives. However, while the cost college is rising at a startling pace, perhaps even more frightening is the rapidly expanding ultimate cost of not going to college.

Escape debt and retire rich
Student loan debt is scary, and so is the thought of not having enough when you retire. But the Motley Fool is here to help. The best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report  "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers