Is a College Degree Still Worth the Cost?
Here’s what a majority of Americans now say
Ric Edelman: It's Thursday, April 20th. This entire month is National Financial Capability Month and National Community College Month. So I've got something for you today in the spirit of both of these occasions.
College is not worth the cost. That's not me saying that. That's the majority of Americans saying that. A new poll from The Wall Street Journal in conjunction with the University of Chicago, found out that 56% of Americans now say that a four-year degree is a bad idea. Skepticism is strongest among people, 18 to 34. That's the customer base for colleges. Everybody is looking at the fact that people who already went to college got screwed. They've got $1.7 trillion in student loan debt and only 60% of them graduated. No wonder college enrollment is down. There's now 1.3 million fewer college students than just four years ago. That's $60 billion in tuition revenue that colleges are not collecting.
Who thinks college is worth it? Democrats who have a degree and who earn more than $100,000 a year. Well, that's not a large group of people. Only half the country are Democrats. And how many of them have a degree and how many of them make $100,000 a year? On the other hand, only 44% of women, regardless of political affiliation, think college is worth it.
I just talked to a friend whose daughter is graduating this year from Virginia Tech. She's got a degree in writing. She spent five years and about $150,000 to get that degree. Now she tells her dad she wants to go to grad school to get a Master's in creative writing. That'll cost another $100,000 and two more years. Her dad tried to talk her out of it, but she says she needs it. She wants it. And later she'll go work for a marketing company. She can go work for a marketing company now. She doesn't need a master's degree in creative writing to go get that job. And with ChatGPT, writers are going to be out of work in the next 10 years anyway. Her degree will truly be worthless.
So instead of a four-year college, consider a two-year community college. You cut the cost by more than 50% and you're guaranteed to be admitted to a state four-year college. And in many states, community college tuition is now entirely free. It's time to rethink your college planning strategy. That will improve your financial capability. You like how I tied the two together? National Financial Capability Month and National Community College Month.
Hey, today I'm participating in AARP's Age Tech Collaborative and Prime Time Partners Founder Summit in New York City. I'm leading two in-person 30-minute workshops to help company founders learn how to build their business. AARP invited me to speak on the fintech and investment management sessions because I built the nation's largest investment advisory firm, so they figured I'd have some insights that can help the next gen of CEOs at some of today's fastest growing startups. It's an invitation-only event. I'm really looking forward to it today.
And coming up on Tuesday, April 25th at 2:00 PM Eastern, I'm going to be hosting a one hour webinar: How Crypto Is Really Going to Change The World: 12 Real World Use Cases. Joining me will be the chief investment officer of Bitwise, Matt Hougan. This is a free online virtual event for financial advisors and you can join in too. If you're an advisor, you get one CE credit. You can register at DACFP.com. The link is in the show notes.
And be sure to tune in to Self-Care with Jean Edelman, her podcast, every Thursday. She covers valuable insights and tips on how to take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, from meditation and mindfulness practices to healthy eating and exercise tips. Jean provides practical advice that you can incorporate into your daily routine, whether you're looking to improve your overall well-being or just seeking some inspiration and guidance. Jean's podcast is a great resource, so follow and subscribe to Jean's show. Join her every Thursday for a dose of self-care.