Survey: College Is Unaffordable, and a Poor Value. But It’s Still a Good Investment?

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Is this a mixed message? Of course. It’s also a formula for college to keep getting more and more expensive.

Among the interesting figures rounded up in a new survey from Pew Social Trends and the Chronicle of Higher Education are these:

*Most Americans (57%) say higher education in the U.S. is not a good value for the money spent by students and their families.

*75% say college to too expensive for most students to afford.

*And yet, 86% of college grads say their educations have been good investments for them personally, and adults who graduated with four-year degrees estimate that they are earning an average of $20,000 more annually thanks to their educations.

*94% of parents said they expected their kids to go to college.

College may be unaffordable, but with that kind of demand, the higher education system doesn’t have much incentive to suddenly start charging less. A recent New York magazine story featured some interesting arguments against the overhyped, overpriced college education, though.

College by the Numbers