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"It's Impossible To Work Your Way Through College Nowadays"
Zero Hedge ^ | 04/21/2014 | Tyler Durden

Posted on 04/21/2014 2:50:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

"It's impossible to work your way through college nowadays"...is the hard-to-swallow (but not entirely surprising) conclusion of Randal Olson's research into just how extreme national tuition costs have become in the US. As The Atlantic notes, the economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete at least 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses.

 

To better measure the cost of tuition, Olson links to a Reddit discussion of cost per "credit hours" -

MSU calculates tuition by the "credit hour," the term for the number of hours spent in a classroom per week. By this metric, which is used at many U.S. colleges and universities, a course that's worth three credit hours is a course that meets for three hours each week during the semester. If the semester is 15 weeks long, that adds up to 45 total hours of a student's time. The Reddit user quantified the rising cost of tuition by cost per credit hour:

 

This is interesting. A credit hour in 1979 at MSU was 24.50, adjusted for inflation that is 79.23 in today dollars. One credit hour today costs 428.75.

 

...

 

In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester's tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education.

 

The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage.

 

But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.

Olson, who's doing his graduate work at MSU, crunched the numbers further to create this graph:

 

 

Furthermore, Olson adds,

the average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year's tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.

And this is only considering the cost of tuition, which is hardly an accurate representation of what students actually spend for college.

As The Atlantic concludes...

Is it any surprise that so many students today are suckered into taking out non-dischargeable loans, in growing chunks, to pay for their bachelor's degrees?

...

It's more important than ever to make sure that, if you're not working 40+ hours a week at a minimum-wage job while in college, you'll be able to get a better-paying job after graduation.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: college; tuition

1 posted on 04/21/2014 2:50:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

In 1982 I started as a Sophmore/Junior (credits from going to school while in the Air Force) at MSU and a Credit Hour cost $22.50 IIRC. When I graduated two and one half years later I was paying $55 per Credit Hour and also had to pay a $300 per term fee for being the the College of Engineering.

I had a full-time job and the GI Bill plus I worked another part-time job. I still had to borrow $1000 to make it through my Senior year so I had to pay that loan back after graduation.


2 posted on 04/21/2014 3:02:20 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: SeekAndFind

Great, now we find out, now that three of our kids are graduating in 3 weeks, debt free, having worked their way through.

I would have liked to have found out it was impossible a few years ago.


3 posted on 04/21/2014 3:03:00 PM PDT by lurk
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To: SeekAndFind
MSU...a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.

Fortunately MSU isn't the only game in town. There are plenty of affordable colleges well below 428/credit hour.
4 posted on 04/21/2014 3:05:23 PM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: SeekAndFind

higher education grabbing their piece of the redistribution pie.


5 posted on 04/21/2014 3:06:04 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: SeekAndFind

I’ll go so far as to say that state and federal governments might as well fund higher education for all scoring higher than X on SAT/ACT etc. at plain jane state colleges.

We are already going to pay that much for the defaults on all the guaranteed loans we’ve made that are being taken by folks earning degrees that will never earn enough to pay them back.


6 posted on 04/21/2014 3:07:59 PM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: SeekAndFind

Another aspect of this is effects of O-commiecare. Both my kids are in college and they worked 45 to 50 hours a week at their summer jobs (that they’ve had since high school and for 1 and 2 college summers already). This summer, they’re both being limited to 29 hours.


7 posted on 04/21/2014 3:12:31 PM PDT by wny
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To: lurk

Congrats to your kids.

.


8 posted on 04/21/2014 3:13:22 PM PDT by Mears
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To: SeekAndFind
I just have to laugh at all of this.

Why does Chicago have a high homicide and murder rate? Because the liberals have been running it for decades.

Why are many huge American Cities facing bankruptcy? Because liberals and unions have been running them for decades.

Why is the cost of college so high today? Because the liberals have been running them for decades.

How is any of this so hard to understand? When liberals are in control what ever they are controlling fails miserably, every time.

9 posted on 04/21/2014 3:16:50 PM PDT by oldenuff2no (Citizen.)
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To: OldMissileer

Tuition doubled from the summer I started at the U of Ark to the fall 1966.

The summer tuition was $7.50 per credit hour. The fall tuition increased to $15.00 per credit.

By my senior year (1969) the state university I attended increased semester tuition from $100 to $150.

Those are small numbers now, but at the time, they were significant increases.

We didn’t have all the financial aid programs, etc., that are available today. There was one grant program that covered tuition, but all other fees, books, room & board had to be covered by two loan programs or work.


10 posted on 04/21/2014 3:18:38 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: SeekAndFind

the cost of a local junior college or tech school is VERY affordable still and would be a FAR better investment for most people with a low IQ than a costly four year college degree.


11 posted on 04/21/2014 3:19:07 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: TomGuy

Those are the numbers that I remember when I attended the University of Arkansas at the same time. I had a ROTC scholarship that paid the tuition, books, fees and $50 a month. I worked as a houseboy at a sorority house that paid for lunch and dinner and when I was an officer in the fraternity, I got free room. Summer jobs paid for all my clothes and such.


12 posted on 04/21/2014 3:24:53 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Going to a tech school for a year or taking a vocational progrem if one’s available can mean a real job skill which will pay for college. Besides that, it’s great backup if that college experience doesn’t work out or doesn’t lead to employment opportunities.


13 posted on 04/21/2014 3:24:55 PM PDT by grania
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To: SeekAndFind
Given that most college degrees are worthless pieces of paper, get into a skilled trade and avoid the high cost of college and associated college loans.
14 posted on 04/21/2014 3:26:54 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s not impossible to work your way through college, especially if you’re willing to stretch your education out over 5-6 or more years while you’re doing it.


15 posted on 04/21/2014 3:29:38 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: SeekAndFind

I just got sticker shock. Price at Arizona State University is around $500 per credit hour. It was $32 last I looked, back in the ‘80’s.


16 posted on 04/21/2014 3:33:26 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: SeekAndFind

It is not in a College / University’s interest to decrease student’s cost and to wish it were so is to live in a fantasy world. Academia is a key participant in the progressive coalition that are the supporters of the liberal Democrats. Over the past several decades, college costs have CONSISTENTLY out-grown inflation costs in a time where the popular culture has all high school graduates aimed at post-secondary education. Add to this the government incentives in the form of Pell Grants and AOC Tax Credits and you end with a scenario where there is no downward pressure in education to reduce costs or attendance at the post-secondary level. Childhood is stretched to age 24-26 but an enormous back-end cost on the individual.

President Eisenhower became famous with the intelligentsia when he decried, in his farewell speech of 1960, the Military-Industrial Complex and its danger to the Nation. I would guess, were he to give such a speech today, it would be the Academia and Public Interest Group Complex that would concern him. Their interests are very selfish and not in line with the Nation’s welfare!


17 posted on 04/21/2014 4:07:38 PM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: SeekAndFind

When I went to college in the 1980s, I worked six days a week and it wasn’t anywhere near enough to pay for tuition, books and fees. I made up the difference with grants, scholarships, and student loans.

I sat down one day with a calculator and determined that I would have to make over $40 an hour to pay for college with my job alone. That included working full time over the summer. Even then, it would have been tight.

And this was 1988.


18 posted on 04/21/2014 4:15:02 PM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: OldMissileer
This MSU is Michigan State University, for those who are wondering.

I paid $12 per credit hour at MSU in Wichita Falls TX in 1977.

Of course, I earned more than minimum wage since I made myself worth more to my employer.

Perhaps lots of things have changed, bot just the cost of college.

19 posted on 04/21/2014 4:18:53 PM PDT by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: grania

Yes, and many high schools have dual enrollment that would allow a year or two of technical courses....maybe even certification by high school graduation.


20 posted on 04/21/2014 4:20:28 PM PDT by jch10 (The Democrat mascot shouldnÂ’t be the donkey; it should be the tick.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow, my daughter achieved the impossible last year.


21 posted on 04/21/2014 4:22:50 PM PDT by yuleeyahoo (Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty. - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: Alberta's Child

Only took me 12 years. Worked my way through my AA in Engineering Technology and 4 more years to pick off all of my other requirements for my B.S. from the local CC at night. Had wife and kid, then a divorce, then another wife, and house payments, car payments, child support payments, and graduated without any student loan debt...

And that included that the last two years was a full time student taking 23-26 credits/quarter.


22 posted on 04/21/2014 4:25:40 PM PDT by shotgun
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To: SeekAndFind

My Dad graduated from Michigan in the early 50’s when tuition was $75 per semester. When I went to Lawrence Tech in 1973 it was about $1,500 per semester, and by commuting I made enough money over the summer to pay for it. My youngest got his BSEE at MSU and it cost me about $9,000 per semester. There was no way he could pay his own way through in 4-5 years. I considered it an investment in his future, and told him I’m expecting a nice house on a lake when he hits the big time :)


23 posted on 04/21/2014 4:27:52 PM PDT by laker_dad
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To: Alberta's Child
It’s not impossible to work your way through college, especially if you’re willing to stretch your education out over 5-6 or more years while you’re doing it.

Most universities make you take a full-time load of classes to earn a degree in Engineering or the hard sciences and mathematics. A full load of classes will take you four years to earn your degree. Stretching it out will probably get you kicked out of engineering or other school.

24 posted on 04/21/2014 4:28:54 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: oldenuff2no
what ever they are controlling fails miserably, every time

Not so for the insiders. It succeeds every time.

25 posted on 04/21/2014 4:32:12 PM PDT by BRL
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To: OldMissileer
I find that hard to believe, at least as far as the engineering side is concerned. I'm an engineer by trade, and it took me seven years to complete my undergraduate degree.

And nowadays most states let you take your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) / Engineer in Training (EIT) exam after you complete all your courses through your second "year" of undergraduate school. If you pass that exam, the school would be hard-pressed to come up with a good reason why you shouldn't be permitted to complete the degree at your own pace.

26 posted on 04/21/2014 4:43:08 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: Alberta's Child

My BS is in Electrical Engineering and it was a four year course of study including all the university requirement classes (History, English, etc...).


27 posted on 04/21/2014 4:49:36 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: SeekAndFind

BS! Who says college needs to completed in 4-5 years.


28 posted on 04/21/2014 5:34:11 PM PDT by SgtHooper (I lost my tag!)
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To: wonkowasright

IIRC, students cannot default on student loans


29 posted on 04/21/2014 5:36:17 PM PDT by SgtHooper (I lost my tag!)
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To: laker_dad

RE: My Dad graduated from Michigan in the early 50’s when tuition was $75 per semester.

According to this inflation calculator,

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

What cost $75 in 1953 would cost $644.41 in 2013.


30 posted on 04/21/2014 5:48:52 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SgtHooper

Correct in the sense they cannot discharge the debt even in bankruptcy. However if they don’t pay and have no assets to the lender its the same thing as default.... they don’t get paid.


31 posted on 04/21/2014 6:42:52 PM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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