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Letters - July 15, 2011
College tuition hikes
Despite tuition increases, college is still a good deal
I am writing to express my utmost disappointment in your editorial judgement for publishing the unsubstantiated and irresponsible opinion piece, “Be smart, don’t go to college” in the June 24 edition.
As a father and grandfather, I — and, I am sure, many other parents — have heard the eternal teenage mantra — “The world has changed; you don’t understand; can I borrow the car, $20 (or something else I have not earned).”
Your version is more angry — all adults lie; college is worthless except for really boring degrees; and see if you can get someone else to pay for your stuff.
The truth is that college graduates do, on average, make more money in lifetime than those who only finish high school.
Probably the most frequently cited study is the 2002 College Board report which estimated a difference of $800,000.
That study’s author recently said that figure should be adjusted to $450,000 to reflect current economic conditions and Wall Street Journal reported that the American Institute for Research arrived at an estimate of $279,893 taking into account the current post recession environment and the impact of rapidly rising tuition rates.
The College Board also noted that professional degrees such as engineering and accounting result in a much larger difference.
As an engineer with two master’s degrees in engineering and an MBA, I can tell you that those increased earnings have been combined with a life of work that has been anything but boring.
If the editorial author does follow his advice not to pursue a college degree, he will likely become one of the 40 percent of all Americans who earn so little that they don’t pay income taxes.
Then all those who studied and worked hard can make enough to pay his way through life.