Listen to Dr. Huxtable. There is No Debate. College is Worth It.

In a classic scene from the first episode of the Cosby Show, Theo tells his father that he isn’t going to college.  Using Monopoly money, Dr. Huxtable explains the cost of life and the insufficiency of a “regular” salary of someone without a college education.

The scene works in part because of the obvious financial advantages of going to college.  This episode first aired on September 20, 1984.  For thirty years, the question of the value of college has been settled.  How do I know?  Cliff Huxtable told me so.

Yet, it seems every few months there is a story in the press questioning the value of college such as this one from The Economist back in April.

I’m all for debate.  We have serious issues facing how we finance higher education as I’ve detailed in this space before.  We should debate these questions.  However, the constant stories about whether college is worth it aren’t a debate.  Put simply, they are dangerous.

Current State of Higher Education Costs and Price

In last week’s post, I described the major concepts in higher education finance: costs, price, and subsidy. Today, I describe the current trend data to provide additional context to the debate on higher education costs and price.

Photo credit: goshehe

There are some great resources out there that report on these data each year. I highly recommend you check out the Delta Cost Project and the College Board which use the best information we have available to report on the trend of rising tuition.

Higher Education Price and Cost: A Primer

Who pays for higher education?  This is a loaded question and on the minds of many these days.  President Obama, many governors, parents, and students all want to understand why tuition keeps climbing.  As is the case with many vexing problems, the answer to this question is a complicated one.

Photo credit: Ken Wilcox

In today’s post, I will explain the basics of costs, price, and subsidy in higher education.  On Monday, I will detail the current state of higher education costs and price.