Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say (New York Times)

Last week, MIT News published a Q&A with MIT economics professor David Autor about inequality among the “99 percent.” This week, the conversation continues with discussion about the cost, and value, of a college education. According to this article in The New York Times:

The decision not to attend college for fear that it’s a bad deal is among the most economically irrational decisions anybody could make in 2014.

The much-discussed cost of college doesn’t change this fact. According to a paper by Mr. Autor published Thursday in the journal Science, the true cost of a college degree is about negative $500,000. That’s right: Over the long run, college is cheaper than free. Not going to college will cost you about half a million dollars. Read the entire story at The New York Times.

You can read Prof. Autor’s recent Science paper here, or see courses he has taught at MIT (that are now available as opencourseware) on our previous post.

3 thoughts on “Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say (New York Times)

  1. There are 41,600,000 BA holders in the USA.
    25,000,000 of them ( 60 % of them ) hold jobs a high school graduate can do .
    That means more or less 60 % of the colleges are not good enough to find a job .
    I say
    college is worthted to go IF YOU GO TO A GOOD , WORTHWHILE COLLEGE.

    Otherwise it is waste of Money and time .
    Please consider those 25 million BA holders cost the USA a mere $ 8 trillion .


    • All colleges are worthwhile if you are majoring in something that is worthwhile/a benefit for the economy such as a physical science major (chemistry, biology, physics) or computer sciences. Im sure the bulk of those college educated but high school level employed graduates comes from those who chose to major in very subjective soft skill majors like the social sciences and the fine arts.


      • Robert
        I am very sad that you do not understand the situation .
        What you mean is , more or less, 60 % of the colleges are providing
        ” very subjective soft skill majors like thye social sciences and the fine arts ”
        graduates of which cannot find a job. ( They do not provide physical science majors, such as chemistry, biology, physics so that graduates can find a job . ) ( WHY BECAUSE IT IS EXPENSIVE TO PROVIDE THESE MAJORS )
        So why those colleges are open and why poor people , non informed people go to those colleges with the hope of finding a good job .
        Unfortunately people are just misinformed by people like you that every college is worthwhile to find a good job .
        You are guilty of misinforming people .
        And the cost to the USA is $ 8-9 TRILLION .
        That is you pay , not somebody else, taxpayers pay for any waste of Money .


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