Town Square

The Controversy over College Costs

Original post made by Doing College, another community, on Mar 17, 2013

One article decries runaway college tuition and rising student debt, placing blame squarely on shoulders of colleges. Writers of these articles believe that colleges should be held accountable for wooing students to their campuses, showcasing athletic facilities, newly minted interdisciplinary majors and advanced technologies without offering a shred of financial advice. These folks also lament the complexity of the financial aid process and just stop short of calling the government student loan system a scam. On the other side are those who label the student loan crisis a ‘myth.’ This month’s issue of The Atlantic enthusiastically extolls “college [as] the best investment you can make.” With colorful bar charts and pie graphs we see that the long-term return on investment for a bachelor’s degree is a whopping 16.2% while the stock market hands you back a mere 6.8% over the long haul. The authors claim that “college is such a good investment…it might even justify more student debt.”

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