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April 20, 2010

College costs

A college education is perhaps more important today than ever before. But college costs continue to escalate. Is college still a good financial deal?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"College costs have been rising very fast -- in fact, faster even than medical care. Yet you have to account for several elements here:

"One is the increase in college costs (doesn't) account for financial aid. Most students get some form of financial aid, which is going to cushion that rise in college costs.

"And, for example, here in North Carolina we get a great deal of support from our General Assembly. Tuition and fees for college students at public universities in North Carolina among the lowest in the nation.

"And then lastly of course a student always has to ask, 'Well, O.K., yes, I'm going to shell out some money for getting a college degree; is it worth it?'

"And I think the overwhelming answer is still yes. You are going to see your salary be much, much higher if you have a college degree than if you don't.

"And then look at today's employment market. Unemployment rates, for example, ... for those with a college degree are half -- half -- what those rates are for someone with only a high school degree. So in a recession you are much more protected if you have a college education.

"Bottom line: College is still worth it."

Posted by deeshore at April 20, 2010 03:26 PM