When College Isn’t Worth It

Career College Central summary:

  • The New York Times yesterday that once again beats the drum: Despite skyrocketing costs, a college degree is a good investment. In fact, MIT economist David Autor writes in the journal Science that the value of a degree is rising. College grads made almost twice as much per hour in 2013 as workers without a four-year degree. And the lifetime value of a diploma is now around a half-million dollars, even after you factor in tuition.
  • Well, when is college not worth it? Because sometimes it isn't. Lots and lots of people who enroll in college just don't finish. And, to get an honest accounting of a diploma's value, these noncompleters (that's the term of art in the research —"dropouts" is a bit too judgmental) need to be part of the math. Otherwise, it's like the latest fad diet touting "befores" and "afters" without counting those who didn't stick with it.

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