Making College Pay
Making College Pay: An Economist Explains How to Make a Smart Bet on Higher Education.
A leading economist makes the case that college is still a smart investment, and reveals how to increase the odds of your degree paying off.
The cost of college makes for frightening headlines and politics. The outstanding balance of student loans is over $1.5 trillion nationally, while tuitions continue to rise. And with most students currently attending classes remotely from their dorm or childhood bedrooms, we have to wonder: Is college really worth it?
From a financial perspective, the answer is yes, says economist Beth Akers: the average college graduate earns a million dollars more over their lifetime than someone without a degree. And the most elite 4-year colleges deliver 15 percent return on investment—double that of the stock market. Moreover, despite all the horror stories about burdensome student debt, most graduates actually owe very little in monthly payments, relative to their income.
Yes, college is expensive. But when we look at college for what it is - an investment in future opportunities, job security, and earnings - Akers argues, we see that the price isn’t the problem: it’s the risk that your investment might not pay off. In Making College Pay, she shows how to stack the deck in your favor by making smart choices about where to go, what to study, and how to pay for it. Readers will learn:
Why choosing the right major matters more than where you enroll
The best metric for picking a college (hint: not prestige, selectivity, or ranking).
Why borrowing is often best, even if you can afford to pay outright.
How to hedge your bets by unbundling the college experience, or transfer your risk using tools like income-sharing agreements