Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Cost of Extra School

cost of extra school II

(Click on either chart above to go to its source article)

These charts come to us courtesy of articles by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of the Washington Post and Melissa Korn of the Wall Street Journal. Both provide us some detail on the costs associated with taking more courses than necessary for the completion of a degree. We get two today because this has been a public policy hot topic of late with states looking to trim their higher education budgets. After all, it costs money to offer classes, and when a student at a state school continues to rack up credit hours beyond graduation requirements it affects the bottom line of both. Continue reading Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Test Drive Before You Buy

Test Drive Before You Buy

cycling guy

Elsewhere we explored “The Costs of Excess Credits,” or taking more credit hours than necessary toward completion of a degree. One quick and easy way to contend with the rising costs of college is to take as few classes as possible en route to graduation. But what options do we have if we want to explore majors, might need remedial instruction, or just want to take classes for enjoyment?

With other goods like sweaters and cars we can usually try out the product for fit before we pony up funds and commit to its purchase. Unfortunately, the traditional college experience offers very little opportunity to do this. Sure, we can enroll in a class and drop it within a certain time frame for full refund but students who do this will find the registration process onerous, class availability limited, and the pressure to back out within a refund period non-conducive for full exploration.

Fortunately, today’s student has access to top-level classes without the restrictions of geography or seating availability. Further, these classes are usually free and sometimes nominally priced.  Continue reading Test Drive Before You Buy

The Other Reason to Start at a JuCo

The Other Reason to Start at a JuCo





If you read much about college finances you’ll soon encounter advice to attend a junior college (JuCo) en route to a four-year degree. With rare exception the justification for doing so is the relatively low cost of JuCo credits. The value of the JuCo education is typically expressed only in its relation to obtaining an overall cheaper bachelor’s degree.

Of course this is compelling news, but rarely truly exciting to a bachelor’s-minded student. We tend to equate cheaper with inferior, as is often the case with all sorts of goods and services. However, let’s now focus on another dynamic of the JuCo experience that often gets lost in the conversation: A junior college education can also provide increased earnings potential to someone seeking a four-year degree.

Continue reading The Other Reason to Start at a JuCo

Chart: The Relationship Between College Costs and Benefits

Chart: The Relationship Between College Costs and Benefits

Learning Curve

(Click on Chart to Go To Source)

These charts come to us courtesy the “Graphic Content” portion of a Wall Street Journal online edition I only recently stumbled upon. Here we have a succinct capture of the dilemma facing every college attendee today: the costs of college continue to go up at a consistently rapid pace while the earnings of college graduates have been in decline as of late.

I appreciate this combination of charts laid side by side. Of course, cost data only tell part of the story. Here we also get to take a look at the rise of college costs 1) in relation to inflation at large (everything has been converted to 2013 dollars), 2) in relation to the the economic benefits, and 3) according to type of degree, along with the benefits likewise. However you cut it we get a pretty grim picture of students face today.

Continue reading Chart: The Relationship Between College Costs and Benefits