Tag: College Finance

Are more expensive colleges worth it?Nowadays, the total cost of elite Ivy League schools like MIT, Rice, Duke, and Amherst are approximately $50,000 a year, but luckily many students pay less due to their financial aid packages. Public state universities cost less, and may be just as good as the private ones. The question that comes up often with students and families is: will going to a $50,000 school mean that you will make more money over time (and therefore justify the cost?)

Many people assume that students who go to elite colleges will make more money than those who don’t. Payscale.com asked graduates to report their earnings, and it was no surprise that students from schools like Dartmouth, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford reported the highest mid-career median earnings.

A 1998 study by economists Alan Kreuger and Stacey Dale looked at more than 14,000 people who started at elite colleges (as defined by SAT scores) in 1976, and compared their earnings 19 years later to students who applied to elite schools but went somewhere else. Basically their findings showed that it didn’t matter where the students went, as long as they were capable of going to the elite schools. Their research showed that earnings were unrelated to the selectivity of the college that students attended among those who had comparable options.

However, one thing worth noting was that the earning power of students from lower-income families definitely improved by attending elite schools. Caroline Hoxby, a respected educational economist, found that graduates of more selective colleges earned more than those who went to schools that were easier to get into. “If we compared two men with the same measured aptitude, the one who graduates from a more selective college still tends to earn more over his career”, Hoxby said.

The study did not take into account parents’ income, or the student’s choice of profession. If you attend an elite school but don’t go for the right degree program, it is not going to boost your earnings that much. And remember, a student’s character, ability, career choice, and fate are important factors when figuring out which school to attend.

Regardless of where you get it, earning an accredited and quality degree is important and will help you earn more. Answer a few simple questions and get matched to a degree program today!

Source: BNET, http://blogs.bnet.com/career-advice/?p=751

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A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that in recent decades it is taking longer for students to earn their bachelor’s degrees. This trend is not across the board for all colleges, but rather is more common among students who enroll at less competitive four-year public institutions and at community colleges.

Data from the study shows that of the students who graduated from high school in 1972, 58% earned a bachelor’s degree within four years of finishing high school, which many consider to be on time. For students who graduated in 1992, only 44% earned their bachelor’s degree within four years of finishing high school.why is it taking students longer to earn bachelor's degrees

There is a difference among the rate at which students complete their bachelor’s degree at public schools:

  • At top ranked public colleges and universities, 55.5% of students finished their bachelor’s degree in four years
  • At other state and local schools, only 34.7% of students finished their bachelor’s degree in four years.

People who want students to graduate more promptly need to focus on the schools’ budgets. Dwindling resources at less-selective public universities may be the cause for why degree attainment rates are lower than before.

There are links between school resources and the time it takes to earn bachelor’s degrees. In public institutions during the time of the study period, student-faculty ratios increased in overall public institutions from 25.5 to 29.8 students to 1 teacher. At the top ranked 50 institutions (and at private colleges), the ratios decreased meaning that teachers could pay more attention to each individual student, making the overall learning experience better.

Another factor increasing the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree is, with higher enrollment rates at schools the amount of resources per student decreases. The study found that for every 1% increase in a state’s population of 18 year olds, the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree increases by 0.71 years. And for those students studying NOT at the top ranked 50 institutions the increase in time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree is greater: 1.11 years.

One author of the study concluded, “That these increases are concentrated among students attending public colleges and universities outside the most selective, few suggests a need for more attention to how these institutions adjust to budget constraints and student demand, and how students at these colleges finance higher education.”

Check out more information on financial aid and ways to afford your college education.

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