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College Degree, Yes. Retail Price, No.

Written by Gary North on August 23, 2012

I am working with a young man in my church who earned his college degree in business management from an accredited college in the month he turned 18. He was home schooled. He paid $13,000, total.

They never tell you about stories like his in the mainstream media.

MarketWatch is a major publisher in the field of finance. It ran a story on August 23 on the grim job market facing college grads. The unemployment rate for recent grads is 9.4%. The underemployment rate is about 20%. These people cannot find full-time work.

Worse, 40% are working in jobs that did not used to require a college degree.

But it is far worse for “no college” recent high school grads. Their unemployment  rate is over 30% — horrendous. And 50% are underemployed.

All the way down the pecking order, the degree requirement has risen. Recent college grads face the worst job market in decades. But it is worse for high school grads than ever before in the last 60 years.

This job market has re-defined the value of a degree. A college degree — any old degree — is not worth what it was in 2007. But a young person had better have one. He is going to face years of rotten jobs if he doesn’t.

College costs are up since 1981, the year of the last really bad recession, by a factor of 1.8 for private schools. They are up by a factor of  2.7 for public four-year colleges. But family income is up by 18%.

Student debt keeps rising. The typical college grad leaves school with $25,000 in debt. There are 20 million people with student loans still active. Almost 5.5 million of them are delinquent.

What the article does not say is that the total cost of a liberal arts degree ought to be no higher than $15,000.

The parents are being skinned. So are the students.

What is the lesson never mentioned by articles on the costs of college? This. It has never been cheaper to get a college degree. But most students and most parents are ignorant of how to beat the system.

Here is the reality of this job market.

All post-Great Recession job gains have gone to those with more education. A recent Georgetown University Study notes that 3.4 million jobs have been created since the recovery began. All of these post-Great Recession jobs have gone to workers with an education beyond high school. For those with a bachelor’s degree or better,  jobs have increased by 2 million. For those with an associate degree or some college education, jobs have increased by 1.6 million. For those with a high-school diploma or less, jobs have continued to decrease by 200,000 since the recovery began. Clearly an education beyond high school is important in today’s job market.

There is also this. About 78 million baby boomers will be turning 65 between 2011 and 2029. This will create job openings.  But that does little good for recent high school degree-only graduates. These jobs will go to college grads. And they will not pay as much as the boomers were paid.

This is why students need to get their college degrees fast and cheap. They need to do this with zero debt. They have co compensate for a bad job market by getting into it earlier.

Continue Reading on www.marketwatch.com

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13 thoughts on “College Degree, Yes. Retail Price, No.

  1. No where in this article does it say how this student acquired his degree for $13,000.00?

  2. […] job market in decades. But it is worse for high school grads than ever before in the last 60 years.READ MORE August 23rd, 2012 | Tags: College, degree, Grads, Jobs, retail | Category: Uncategorized […]

  3. Michale CrackMonkey says:

    No they don't say a think about how this kid got a degree for $13K. They also don't point out that you can succeed without one. I never finished college yet I make on average $250K a year. I made up to $300+K not that long ago. I trained myself in computer science and learned that to make good money you need to be your own boss. Also I never had any debt from school because I was making a pretty good living before I incurred debt.

  4. So how did this young man get his degree from an accredited college for $13,000?

  5. I agree, college is NOT for everyone, yet they keep pushing it. Economics should be learned before college so those who do go will know how to stay debt free when they graduate.

  6. You can CLEP out of at least two years of college while still living at home. One of my kids passed a CLEP and earned 6 hours of college credit at the age of 14. Look it up.

  7. The reason cheap alternatives to the traditional 4-year liberal arts degree are never mentioned in the corporate owned media is the establishment, whether government or business, prosper off debt. The more individual debt the better for them. They can't imagine a society without a private central bank loaning the public's currency at interest.

    What we need is an Andrew Jackson to call them what they are — "a den of vipers" — and "rout them out".

  8. PrincessPhilly says:

    If you have the skills in bullshit and brown nosing that is all you need. A degree will get you nowhere without the bullshit skill that is why most top management in Corporate America are incompetent. I heve seen this for the last 30 years. Since I failed in the bullshit requirment I have gone nowhere in my career with an MBA. I can give you lots of stories how the incompetent person gets promoted and then people who know their jobs and go beyond their duties but are not bullshitters never receive promotions. They are used just to make top management of incompetents look better. The incompetents get the money and the employee doing the job gets nothing.

  9. Through a combination of CLEPs/DSSTs and various online resources, you can finish a 4-year degree from an accredited college for even less than $13,000, and often in less than 4 years. Both my homeschooling teens are currently working on their degrees, and we will not spend more than $10,000 on either of them. Mr. North is correct; the media never addresses this "radical" idea, though it's not entirely unknown within the homeschooling community. If you are interested in learning more, I run a totally free website that can get you started – Homeschool College USA.

  10. Blair Franconia, NH says:

    I got a scholarship from the Wolfeboro Lions Club when I went to college.

  11. Dr. North has written a lot about this. He made this video as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evJeAAJedbY

  12. They "play the game". They'd rather Be than Do.

    The best explanation I ever read about this was from the late Col. John Boyd.

    " He said that one day you will come to a fork in the road. “You’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. If you go one way, you can be somebody. You'll have to make compromises and you'll have to turn your back on your friends. But you'll be a member of the club and you will get promoted and get good assignments. Or you can go the other way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself . . . If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get good assignments and you certainly won't be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself . . . To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you have to make a decision. To be or to do?”

    To me it's not quite this simple but is sure is darned close.

  13. kalamawashinton says:

    I graduated from a major private university in 1972 with a double major/double minor BA. When I started, tuition and fees were $365 per semester. By the time I graduated, it was up to about one thousand dollars. I bounced around jobs for about 6 years then landed a job with a Fortune 50 company. I retired two and a half years ago. Over the 31+ years I worked for them, I averaged a little over $65,000, and $106,400 the last full year I worked there.

    I graduated with NO debt. Had a partial scholarship for three of the years. My education did not add to my salary at all. Most of the people I worked with had only a High School diploma and some only had a GED, and we were all paid at the same rate.

    So, it is possible to make money with out a College Degree. What did I do, you ask, to earn that kind of money with out a College diploma? I drove a truck, an 18 wheeler, around the Northwest. Just pick the right job.