The College Conversation: Part 1

8 Surprising Facts about College in America:
Taken from Beating the College Debt Trap, by Alex Chediak

1. “The United States has the highest college dropout rate in the industrialized world. While seven out of ten high school graduates go on to college, less than half of 25-34-year-olds (44 percent) have a college degree of any sort.”

2. “About three in ten students earn a bachelor’s degree with absolutely no debt.”

3. “Economists predict almost as many job openings for associates’ degrees and occupational certificates as for bachelor’s and advanced degrees.  About 28 percent of workers with associate’s degrees earn more than the median earnings of workers with bachelor’s degrees.”

4. “Over the past twenty years, colleges have been hiring administrators at twice the rate of faculty.” This has been one contributing factor to the rising cost of college.

5.”In the class of 1993, only 45 percent of students borrowed a dime for college, including from family members. Fast-forward twenty years to the class of 2013, and more than 70 percent borrowed money. The average debt load at graduation more than tripled in this time period.”

6. “Just shy of 109,000 degrees were awarded in 2012 for psychology, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that only 160,000 psychology jobs existed (in the entire country) in 2012. By contrast, approximately 80,000 engineering degrees were awarded in 2012, although the BLS reported more than 270,000 jobs in civil engineering alone.”

7. “In 1961, full-time college students studied twenty-four hours per week. Fifty years later, in 2011, that figure was down to twelve hours per week.”

8. “Sixty million-plus Americans have no credit score,” because they don’t borrow any money. Period.


All statistics, statements, and opinions come directly from the book referenced above, Beating the College Debt Trap, and its author Alex Chediak, and are not necessarily those of Raymond James.