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May 04, 2006

The good and bad of higher education

Whenever anyone talks about the economy, they ultimately mention education because it truly is the driver of the economy. But what's the status of higher education today? N.C. State University's Mike Walden outlines the good and bad sides.

"On the good side, clearly education is still very valuable. One estimate recently ... put the value of a college degree at over a third of a million dollars lifetime -- even accounting for tuition, tuition being higher and lost wages while the student is in school," says Dr. Walden, an agricultural and resource economics professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"So clearly education’s beneficial financially. But the negative side of ... higher education today is, number one, tuitions are rising. In fact they have been rising significantly faster than inflation. And consequently, colleges are getting a little pickier in their admissions.

"And because of the rising tuitions, because more people want to go to college, one recent study indicated that 400,000 students nationwide who are qualified for college can’t go because of finances.

"So clearly we have work to do to make a college education be in the grasp of those who are eligible."

Posted by deeshore at May 4, 2006 09:42 AM