Tag Archives: student loan debt

Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 4/5

Did you know that about half of students that start college leave before they graduate and of those that go on to graduate, only half end up working in the field he or she graduated in.

However, the average pay of a college graduate, according to the US Census clearly shows that the earnings of workers with college degrees out earn workers without a college education.

Annual median earnings (in 2010 dollars) – Source: US Census

1. high school dropout = $26,313 (based on 4.2 million workers)
2. high school graduate = $37,237 (21 million workers)
3. Bachelor’s degree or more = $67,719 (24.56 million workers)

Now, back to the question I asked in Part 3 about the price of a car, averages wages, cost for a gallon of gas, loaf of bread, and hamburger meat.

The average cost of a car in 1970 was $3,450.  In 2008, it was $27,958—800% increase

The average annual wage in 1970 was $9,400, and in 2008, it was $40,523—431% increase

Note: My first year as a full time public-school teacher in California (1978-79), my annual pay was $11,000. The average starting salary today is $35,760—more than three times what I started with in 1978.  However, the CPI Inflation Calculator says my 1978 starting teacher salary was equal to the buying power of $56,852,66 today. I had no idea my pay was that good back then and I was still making payments on my student loan.

The average cost for a gallon of gasoline in 1970 was 35 cents. In 2008, it was $2.05—586% increase—today the average national price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.63—1,037% increase compared to 1970.

Bread was 25 cents in 1970 and $2.79 in 2008—1,116% increase

A pound of hamburger meat cost 70 cents in 1970 and was $3.99 in 2009—570% increase

The last comparison and the most difficult to find was comparing college costs between the 1970s and today, and I did not find these facts from the traditional media.  I found them from colleges and the government.

What is the media trying to hide and why or is it just poor reporting?

From the University of Texas at Austin, I discovered, “Since 1970 tuition and fees at UT have risen tremendously; for undergraduates, the increase has been around 400 percent. In 1970, tuition was $50 for any in-state student enrolled in any college or school for any number of credit hours. Fees were $54 for anyone enrolled at the University. In the Fall semester of 2002, you won’t get a twelve hour course load for less than $2,300.”

From the Congressional Budget Office, I learned that “in 1970 the average tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduate students was $690. In 1986, the average cost was $2,310.”

Then from College, I discovered,The cost for one year of tuition and fees varies widely among colleges. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2011–2012 school year was $28,500 at private colleges, $8,244 for state residents at public colleges, and $20,770 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.”

Comparing tuition and fees of public colleges from then to today shows a 1,194% increase since 1970 or a 356% increase since 1986. Private colleges cost much more as you can see but no one has to attend a private college. To keep prices down, a student may spend the first two years at a community college, then transfer in his third year to a four-year state college near his home.

Continued August 18, 2012 in  Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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