[This is the transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 10 January 2014.]
Did you know that college enrollments in the country are dropping? For all the hullabaloo about American students placing well down on the list in the world’s youth smarts, it turns out that today fewer of our high school graduates are going to college to prepare themselves for the workplace. All this in spite of the administration’s touting college as “the ticket to the middle class”. As an aside, older listeners will remember when high school provided that entry point for almost all Americans. But today it seems that undergraduate college is the new high school for the remedial work that students require to adequately read, write, and cypher.
But the real reason for declining college attendance is that it no longer provides reliable value for its enormous costs which have been rising much faster than inflation, and more importantly, much faster than the difference in salaries earned by high school and college graduates. In fact the salary differences have been decreasing by ten to twenty percent during recent years, while the cost of college has gone up over 16% since 2006.