Is College a Lousy Investment?

Is College a Lousy Investment?

One of the more disconcerting consequences of the recent economic turmoil has been how it forces us to question things that previously seemed sacrosanct. Fortunately for us Canadians, tuition rates here are far less onerous than those in the USA. It is downright depressing to question something so seemingly pure as “education”. However, when the cost of any good rises sharply and the benefits become less certain, these types of questions should not be ignored. This article – written by one of my favourite writers – presents a well-thought-out analysis on the subject and makes unique comparisons between education spending and the recent US housing bubble. It isn’t short, but I found this to be a very interesting read.

Excerpt from the article:

I have certainly benefited greatly from the education my parents sacrificed to give me. On the other hand, that kind of education has gotten a whole lot more expensive since I was in school, and jobs seem to be getting scarcer, not more plentiful. These days an increasing number of commentators are nervously noting the uncomfortable similarities to the housing bubble, which started with parents telling their children that “renting is throwing your money away,” and ended in mass foreclosures………………….

……………….Just as homeowners took out equity loans to buy themselves spa bathrooms and chef’s kitchens and told themselves that they were really building value with every borrowed dollar, today’s college students can buy themselves a four-year vacation in an increasingly well-upholstered resort, and everyone congratulates them for investing in themselves.

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