The cost of college is a major issue in today’s youth. This year’s political candidates have brought up this issue a few times, but only Bernie Sanders viewed it as a top priority issue in today’s society. Some say the cost of college is much too high, and inhibits many kids and graduates from getting the education they feel they need. On the other hand, some say that college isn’t for everybody, and that only those who put in extreme amounts of work to stand out from their peers deserve financial aid. New York times provides an interesting view on the situation, and it helps us understand how the expense of college is so much different than it has been in the past. They said
“In 1974, the median American family earned just under $13,000 a year. A new home could be had for $36,000, an average new car for $4,400. Attending a four-year private college cost around $2,000 a year: affordable, with some scrimping, to even median earners. As for public university, it was a bargain at $510 a year. To put these figures in current dollars, we’re talking about median family income of $62,000, a house for $174,000 and a sticker price of $21,300 for the car, $10,300 for the private university and $2,500 for the public one.”
Now the median family income is $64,000, nearly the same as it was in 1974. Median house prices have raised by two thirds however, and the car prices held steady. But the big hitter is the raise of the price of college. “Tuition at a private university is now roughly three times as expensive as it was in 1974, costing an average of $31,000 a year; public tuition, at $9,000, has risen by nearly four times” (NY Times). This obviously is a massive jump, and it draws out the question, is higher education really worth it in today’s economy?