Graduates’ Debt Increases Over Two Decades

Tuition vs. EarningsMichael Mandel recently posted the chart to the right on Business Week, using data from both College Board and the latest Census report.  His criteria was based on the average 25-34 year-old bachelor degree holder’s yearly income.  Viewing the chart in 1991, note that post-grad income and college costs were about even, with costs slightly above income.  Throughout the 90’s, both numbers increased steadily with little change.

As you can see, in 2000, the income came as close to matching tuition rates as it did in 1993.  Like that, as if there were some sort of strange shift (hmmm), college tuition skyrocketed as income plummeted.

In real terms, college costs are up by 23% since 2000. But real pay for young college grads is down 11% over the same period.

This trend has continued up until now and worsened with the recession.  This has nothing to do with the Bush administration, right?  I think I see a pattern!  It would be interesting to see the standings in four years…

Presently, it seems to be growing near impossible to pay off some $80,000 of debt when, if graduates do find jobs, many will be getting paid little more than would an individual without any college education.  For more reasons than this, it sure would be nice to go back to the 90’s.  Eh?

Solutions?  Hide!  Go to grad school.  Check the situation out in two years.  For Spanier’s sake, don’t leave!

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