Student loan debt is going to continue to be the financial bobby trap that can score a generation of Americans and trap them in terrible trouble if they are not smart.
The common assumption is college is good for everyone. But a few years ago I wrote Maybe You Should Not Go to College to help people think about the financial reality of higher education.
Let me be clear, I am a big advocate for education. I’m not a big advocate for financial traps.
The awesome people at ProPublica have just released this data project that compares the cost of attending a public university with income. This does not include for-profit schools. If it did, the results would put you into cardiac arrest.
Take a look at the following image of college cost versus declining income and see if you are as surprised as I was.
Now keep in mind, this is just for the cost of tuition. And also keep in mind that most people who go to college or have student loans, never graduate.
The debt load is increasing to go to school but unless you finish college and get a VALUABLE degree you will face a workforce of a declining median household income.
According to the data, folks in Arizona are the most screwed when it comes to state supported education for residents.
As ProPublica says, “Public colleges play a special role in making higher education affordable, but in recent years, soaring tuition is pushing that dream out of reach. From 2000 to 2014, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees for public colleges in America rose 80 percent. During that same time period, the median American household income dropped by 7 percent.”
You can play around with the data if you click here.